Welcome to today’s edition of ShentonSTAGE Dailv that is e-mailed to subscribers every morning (to subscribe, send message to ShentonStageMailingList@gmail.com), and is also available online here.
SHOWS OPENING AND NEWLY ANNOUNCED
My weekly updated list of shows opening, returning and newly announced from the West End to the regions and Broadway is here: http://shentonstage.com/november-15-update-latest-scheduled-new-returning-shows/
Amongst this week’s new opening shows in London are Janie Dee and Michael Maloney in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (pictured below, which opened last night at Charing Cross Theatre), and new plays or British premieres at the Royal Court, Southwark Playhouse and the Kiln.
A WELCOME SURPRISE OFF-BROADWAY
Amidst my current New York return, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to Trevor, a slightly cloying-sounding new musical about a gay teenager’s experiences of being bullied at school. It sounded very Dear Evan Hansen, with a gay twist, inspired by a 1994 Oscar winning short film that led the foundation of The Trevor Project, named after it, that provides a 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
While Dear Evan Hansen, which recently returned to the West End’s Coward Theatre is yet to resume on Broadway (it finally does so on December 11), Trevor proves to be a welcome addition to the high school genre of trauma musicals.
It may be a mistake for Julianne Wick Davis (music) and Dan Collins (book & lyrics) to compete with (extracts of) Diana Ross hits, as the latter inevitably eclipses the new songs, but it is so loving and tender that I was smitten! And 13-year-old Holden WIlliam Hagelberger (pictured below outside the theatre) leads the show in the title role with gawky charm and vulnerability.
Director Marc Bruni and choreographer Josh Prince, who previously collaborated on the Broadway and West End hit Beautiful, bring surprising depth and feeling to this story, and the Ross interpolations are delightful.
OLD FRIENDS TEND TO BECOME OLD HABITS….
As the wonderful Sondheim song in Merrily We Roll Along has it, old friends tend to become old habits; but a friendship that I’m pleased to have made an enduring habit of is with singer-songwriter Scott Alan, who has regular residencies in London (including one last month at Crazy Coqs). Yesterday I took the NJ Transit out to the new home he has relocated to from Florida, and was able to meet his and his husband’s adopted daughter Alex for the first time.
in September he released his 9th album, NOTHING MORE, a collection of songs written about being a gay parent and his daughter Alex, that are performed by gay and trans dads from the entertainment industry,
including British performers Matt Henry and Duncan James, Sam Harris and Kyle Dean Massey. It can be ordered online here:
TODAY’S THEATRE BIRTHDAYS
TWEET OF THE DAY
This tweet has really resonated for me, not least because of the utter failure of the West End to take COVID seriously.
By contrast, it is a massive relief being here in New York, where vaccination certificates have been rigorously checked at every venue I’ve been to, and mask wearing is seriously enforced.