So...which was the best musical I saw this week on the West End?
"Avenue Q" is billed as the greatest musical of the decade. I'd say it might be the funniest. When the Miss Piggy parody character is hospitalized as Slut, Lucy The, I broke into laughter. Since I had a first row seat, the Gary Coleman character eyed me during "Give Us Your Money," and nodded invitingly. I shook my forefinger, Belizean style, signifying no. "How about a date?" he offered with a wink. I gave him a thumbs up. But a few minutes later I caught him cheating with Lucy The Slut, so I didn't wait at the stage door.
"Oliver!" supposedly is the most lavish staging yet of this perennial Dickens favorite. I'd say it well deserves that accolade and more. Gravelly-voiced Bill Hartley certainly gave me shudders and shivers...easily the scariest villain I've seen since Heath Ledger's The Joker. My only complaint is that the musical's ending is so different from the book's...the London bobbies really didn't carry pistols in those days, and Sykes didn't have Oliver with him when he met his end. Nonetheless, I loved the antics of the Artful Dodger and wept for poor doomed Nancy, who stood by her man.
And "Jersey Boys"? I didn't stop tapping my feet and pounding rhythm on my knees for the entire two and a half hours. I may have learned more about the Four Seasons performers than I'd ever wanted to know, though...and had no idea that they were all born before me. Apparently their promoter shaved a few years off their ages to make them more appealing to the teenage record-buying public back in the day.
My recommendation? See 'em all...and more if you have time.
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