BKLYN THE MUSICAL at Greenwich Theatre
If you love live performance, book a seat for BKLYN The Musical at Greenwich Theatre because the actors and band are as good as any I’ve seen on a stage in a long, long time.
This Broadway hit by Mark Schoenfeld and Barri McPherson featuring a show within a show by homeless musicians in New York contains some genuine showstopping songs, not least the funky Superlover and the lyrical Magic Man.
But the joy of this show is not to be found in its intermittently schmaltzy plot or its tunes, it’s in the fabulous work of the small cast and the seven-piece band playing behind Justin Williams’ fine set.
On the night I saw it, Jodie Beth Meyer was understudying Hiba Elchikhe in the title role and Ayesha Quigley was Standing in for Sabrina Aloueche as Brooklyn’s mum Faith – but both sung with a power and confidence that wouldn’t have been out of place in the West End.
They were brilliantly supported by John Addison as Brooklyn’s junkie dad Taylor Collins, Andrew Patrick-Walker as the Street Singer – effectively the show’s narrator – and, best of all, Emily-Mae as Brooklyn’s rival Paradice. Her version of Superlover was not only the musical’s best moment, it was quite simply sensational.
Director Adam Haigh, musical director Richard Baker and their team have created a memorable event in this production, one that deserves to play to packed houses - which was absolutely not the case when I was there. So please, do yourself (and the cast) a favour and see it before it closes on October 19. You’ll be bowled over by the performers’ skill and infectious joie de vivre.