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The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas: Ella Fitzgerald Edition – Theatre Royal Haymarket, London

Devisor/Director: Mitch Sebastian Reviewer: Deborah Klayman Originally conceived by Mitch Sebastian in 2003, The Rat Pack has had numerous incarnations in the intervening years. This version, amended to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald’s centenary, proves that an oldie can still be a goodie. With a setting that nods to Sinatra at the Sands, the staging is simple and effective, with Matthew Freeman ...

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The Opera North String Quartet – Jubilee Hall, Wakefield

Reviewer: Ron Simpson For over 50 years, via a name change and several shifts of venue, Wakefield Concert Society has brought a regular programme of quality chamber music to the city. Now well settled in Wakefield Girls’ High School’s Jubilee Hall, the society programmes six concerts a year, mainstream enough to keep up attendances, but enterprisingly varied, with a few ...

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Viennese Whirl – Town Hall, Leeds

Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Conductor: Justin Brown Soloist: Jeni Bern (soprano) Reviewer: Ron Simpson The model for all the Straussian celebrations in the New Year is, of course, the Vienna Philharmonic’s concert on New Year’s Day and, by the time of Justin Brown’s third concert with the Orchestra of Opera North, we had nearly got to the day itself. ...

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Musicals in Concert: Leading Ladies – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Richard Balcombe Reviewer: Selwyn Knight This year’s Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall is now drawing to a close, but there are still some goodies to come. Tonight, the spotlight is turned on the leading ladies of musical theatre as Richard Balcombe conducts the London Concert Orchestra, and musical theatre stars Louise Dearman, Kerry Ellis, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt ...

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Christmas Spectacular – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: John Rigby Reviewer: James Garrington Christmas in Birmingham – and what better way to get into the festive spirit than walking through the German Market to Symphony Hall for one of their annual seasonal concerts. The London Concert Orchestra opens proceedings, presenting Leroy Anderson’s overture A Christmas Festival, an arrangement of carols and Christmas music which sets the mood ...

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Classic Carols – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Adrian Lucas Reviewer: Clare White Raymond Gubbay’s Christmas season kicks off in spectacular style at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham with its annual classic carol concert. Traditional festive favourites mixed with rarer Yuletide treasures and sing-a-long standards are performed by the sublime City of Birmingham Choir, accompanied by the London Concert Orchestra and led by conductor Adrian Lucas. One ...

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The Bootleg Beatles in Concert – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: John Kennedy Uncannily accurate musical theatre mimicry or just Fab Four necrophiliac nostalgia? Whether neither, either or both it can’t be denied that a guaranteed splendid time is being had by all. The secret to maintaining the Bootleg Beatles’ magical mystery allure during this two-hour tour down melody lane is not to look too closely - just buy into ...

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The Sixteen: Glory to the Christ Child – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Harry Christophers CBE Reviewer: John Kennedy The bleak mid-winter snow-blitz has taken its toll on audience attendance this evening. Nevertheless, evening-gowned, white dickie-bowed and tuxedoed, The Sixteen elegantly complement the grandeur of the Symphony Hall. Matching solemnity with panache and dash it’s evident they’re up for tugging and teasing at Harry Christopher’s guiding reins to celebrate a Hodie rodeo choral sleigh-ride across the ...

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