23 December 2014

City of Angels - Donmar Warehouse

This is probably the most excited I've been to write a review,
so get ready for over-uses of 'great,' 'amazing,' 'so good'
...
HEY! You go see the show and try to describe it any other way...


City of Angels was one of, if not the most anticipated show of the year in London.
Filled with a cast of some of the biggest names in West End Theatre, it completely sold out
over five months before it's opening night.
BIG. DEAL.

Thanks to Barclays Front Row, a few tickets become available every Monday at 10AM,
and just like the rest of them, these tickets sell within minutes.
Luckily I was able to snag one, and I made my way down to the Donmar Warehouse this past Saturday.

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Set in 1940s Hollywood, the story intertwines two plots within one story.
We see the struggling writer, Stine, working on perfecting his latest screenplay against the wishes of self-absorbed producer Buddy Fidler to 'fluff' up the script.
Mirroring this is Stine's screenplay coming to life - centered around Detective Stone, we watch his investigation on missing teen Mallory Kingsley and the twists and turns you'd expect from an old, sultry, suspense film.

With two differing dynamics, the staging of this show is just incredible.
The story of Stine's screenplay is strictly set in black and white, as if the film is in front of our eyes
and the real world of Stine and life are full in color.
While it provides a clear distinction for which storyline we are watching, it also creates a fun and visually fantastic sight when the two plots are incorporated together on the same stage.

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 I have never seen such a cast create a story so well.
Really. I couldn't even find a standout actor they were all so great for this show.

I had seen both Hadley Fraser and Tam Mutu in Les Miserables.
Hadley more times than I probably should have.
He is quite possibly my favorite actor to watch, but I think Tam might have jumped onto that list too.

Taking on the roles of Stine and Stone, it was almost like they were made for the men.
And their chemistry together was so great to watch.
It was also prettttty cool to watch two Javert's in a 'Confrontation' style scene with 'You're Nothing Without Me.'
Definitely the highlight of the show.
 

Rosalie Craig and Rebecca Trehearn gave the guys a run for their money, though.
I had seen Rebecca in Ghost when she went on as an understudy,
and specifically remember liking her better than the original lead.
So I was already excited to see what she'd bring to this show.
And it was, of course, amazing.
Her connection with the audience during 'You Can Always Count On Me' was one of the best I've seen.

I had never seen Rosalie, but have heard so many things about her,
one being 'the greatest stage actor of her generation.'
Needless to say, she had a lot to live up to for me.
 And they were right, they were ALL right.
With a stunning voice and an amazing stage presence, she left me lost for words.


 The rest of the cast added nothing but strength to the show.
Peter Polycarpou was excellent as self-obsessed producer Buddy Fidler,
Katherine Kelly was an absolutely hilarious trophy wife, and as a big fan of Les Miserables, it was pretty great to see Samantha Barks on the stage.

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I knew the show was going to be a good one, but I didn't realize how good it was.
It was a star cast, the staging was mesmerizing - an overall incredible production.

Which I'm using as justification for already grabbing a few more tickets to see it again....
But really, do we actually need an excuse to see more theatre?


City of Angels runs at Donmar Warehouse until February 7th 2015.
Performances are Monday - Saturday 19:30, with matinees Wednesday & Saturday 14:00.
The show is SOLD OUT, but Barclays Front Row tickets are available every Monday 10AM.
The running time is 2 hours 35 minutes with one intermission.

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