Written by: Michael Darvell
If you didn’t manage to get into the BBC Promenade Concert tribute to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals at the Royal Albert Hall, there is a similar summer treat in store at the nearby Cadogan Hall, off Sloane Square. Between 5 and 22 August there are three sets of concerts highlighting the Great American Songbook, featuring the work of Rodgers and Hart in “Sing for Your Supper”, music by Leonard Bernstein in “Bernstein on Broadway”, and classic show and film songs in “From Broadway to Hollywood”. Those appearing include Maria Friedman, Graham Bickley, Mary Carewe and Tim Howar, plus Ruthie Henshall with the BBC Big Band, and Kim Criswell, Graham Bickley and Sarah Eyden with Carl Davis with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The season begins on Wednesday to Sunday, 5 to 9 August, with “Sing for Your Supper”, a celebration of the words and music of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart including ‘The Lady is a Tramp’, ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’, ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘With a Song in My Heart’, ‘Where or When?’, ‘This Can’t be Love’ and ‘Mountain Greenery’ among many others. For this show Maria Friedman returns to Cadogan Hall following her successful evening of music by Sondheim at the Hall in March this year and just before the Proms season started she also starred in “The King and I” at the Royal Albert Hall. She is a singer who also happens to be an actress, so her approach to a song is not just as a vocalist, but also as an actor who approaches each role with intelligence and an understanding of the script in hand – that is to say the lyrics of a song.
Maria is joined by other seasoned musical professionals, Mary Carewe, a welcome mainstay of BBC Radio 2 music programmes, actor Graham Bickley whose shows include “Les Misérables”, “Miss Saigon”, “Sunset Boulevard” and “Ragtime” and Tim Howar, Canadian born actor and singer who has also appeared in “Les Misérables” and “Miss Saigon” as well as “Joseph…”,”Tommy”, “Peggy Sue Got Married” and “Rent”. The director is Simon Green, veteran of “The Boy Friend” and “Follies” but now famous for his shows about Noël Coward and Cole Porter. The Musical Director is David Shrubsole who has made all the piano arrangements for the show. There is a special Sing for Your Supper ticket and supper deal for £50 including a meal either before or after the show at Roussillon Restaurant in Pimlico. Otherwise concert tickets are £18-£30. Performances are Wednesday to Saturday at 7.30 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m.
“From Broadway to Hollywood” is the second of the three summer shows at Cadogan Hall on Friday and Saturday 14 and 15 August when Ruthie Henshall appears with the BBC Big Band, directed by Barry Forgie. Ruthie, star of “She Loves Me”, “Miss Saigon”, “Oliver!”, “Chicago” and “Marguerite”, will be singing a number of classic songs from famous Broadway and Hollywood musicals by the likes of George & Ira Gershwin, Harry Warren & Al Dubin, James V Monaco & Joe McCarthy, Jule Styne & Bob Merrill, Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II, Duke Ellington & Irving Mills and many, many more. Tickets are £15-£27 with performances at 7.30 p.m.
Finally for three nights only on Thursday to Saturday, 20-22 August “Bernstein on Broadway” presents some of the composer’s greatest songs written for the musical theatre with excerpts from “Wonderful Town”, “On the Town”, “Candide” and “West Side Story” among others. The programme was originally devised by Carl Davis who will be conducting the Royal Philharmonic, with singers Graham Bickley, singer-composer Sarah Eyden and that diva of the musical theatre, Kim Criswell who was so brilliant in the recent BBC MGM Prom, singing the songs of Judy Garland. It should prove to be a fitting culmination to Cadogan Hall’s Musical Summer season. Tickets for these concerts are £18-£35, with performances at 7.30 p.m.
- A Musical Summer at Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ
- Bookings for all concerts on 020 7730 4500
- Cadogan Hall