Review: Thriller Live 1000th Performance, Lyric

“Showing how funky strong is your fight, doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right”

Finding myself the recipient of an invitation to the 1,000th gala performance of Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre put me in something of a little quandary. I’ve had a mixed experience with the few jukebox musicals that I have seen and this was never a show that had appealed to me, despite being a fan of some of Michael Jackson’s music and thus never something I had considered booking. But, in finding a new friend of a similar sceptical view to my own, we took the plunge to visit this ‘musical celebration featuring the hit songs of Michael and the Jackson 5’.

Not knowing what to expect added a little thrill of anticipation but to be frank, by the time the first half was drawing to a close, things were looking grim and it was the prospect of a quick trip to the bar that was keeping us there. The show is free of any narrative constraints, instead taking the form of a musical tribute concert with a largely chronological tread through Jackson’s back catalogue starting in the Jackson 5 days. But what made it particularly painful was the running commentary that Britt Quentin was saddled with, interspersing the songs, reading like banal excerpts from a Wikipedia entry and rather pointless, very much a case of preaching to the converted. Throw in an audience participation section that was lukewarm, a fair few Jackson 5 songs I’d never heard before and X-Factor style montages and my patience was wearing thin. Continue reading “Review: Thriller Live 1000th Performance, Lyric”

Re-Review: Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg, Palladium

“I had a revelation when I skipped my medication”

One of the cardinal rules of theatre booking is that you should never book to see a show just to see a particular performer as that road can only lead to disappointment. And so it came to be when I booked a return visit to Sister Act The Musical when it was announced that Whoopi Goldberg would be covering the role of Mother Superior for most of August for the sole reason of seeing her rather than any desire to see the show again. With the sad news of her mother taking very ill, Whoopi was forced to cut her run short and return to the US and so I ended up giving my tickets to a friend.

But the world works in mysterious ways and I clearly had some good karma stored up so when I booked the shows on my Groupon deal (including this one as I had decided to give it a whirl again since it had announced it was closing in advance of a move to Broadway and also to make way for The Wizard of Oz) and was randomly allocated a date, it just so happened to coincide with Goldberg’s return to the show for just 5 performances. Continue reading “Re-Review: Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg, Palladium”