15 June 2021

Monday Night At The Apollo - 14th June - Review

Following a successful event last month Wild Mountain Productions return with their second Monday Night At The Apollo. 


The night is once again hosted by Greg Barnett, his likeable charm carries throughout the evening of conversation and song which plays to a socially distanced audience within the theatre and also streams online through the Thespie website. I watched through the stream.


The line up for this second evening featured some magnificent talent, Shan Ako, Arthur Darvill, Sophie Evans, Sandra Marvin and Jamie Muscato. All supported by a terrific 4 piece band under the musical direction of George Dyer.


Greg opened the evening with a storming version of Joe Bonamassa's 'I Got All You Need' before Sandra Marvin with such powerful vocals sung Duke Ellington's 'Hit Me A Hard Note (And Watch ME Bounce'. Shan Ako with guitar in hand performed Bob Marley and The Wailers's  'One Love/People Get Ready' which included a joyous bit of audience participation - how refreshing it was to hear an audience joining in even through their masks. Sophie Evans brought a country flair to the evening with the song 'I'm Yours' which appears on her 2019 album Icons. Arthur Darvill, at the piano, sung a gorgeous rendition of the Buddy Holly song 'True Love Ways'. Jamie Muscato powerful voice offered a fabulous rendition of the Elton John classic song 'Rocketman'


Shan performed 'Lean On' a lovely uplifting original song that she wrote during lockdown with her sister. Arthur performed a toe-tapping version 'Jealous Guy' originally written by John Lennon. Heading into the interval Sandra and Jamie duetted 'You're All I Need To Get By' made famous by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.



Moving into the second half and opening with some theatrical numbers with Sophie revisiting her time as Glinda in Wicked with the number 'Popular', Jamie singing a magnificent version of 'Lifeboat' from Heathers - a number sung by Heather McNamara in the show. and Arthur and Shan beautifully duetting 'Lies' from the movie of Once written by Glen Hansard. Sandra's smooth and powerful vocals made for a sensational rendition of Whitney Houston's 'Saving All My Love For You'. 


Sophie Evans performed another song which can be heard on her album Icons, the Eva Cassidy classic 'Songbird'. Sophie's voice fits so perfectly to offer an unforgettable version of the song. Arthur, back at the piano, sang 'Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk' by Rufus Wainwright. Shan, who is currently playing Eponine in Les Mis: The Staged Concert, sung her outstanding version of 'On My Own' from the show. Arthur and Sophie duetted 'Suddenly Seymour' from Little Shop of Horrors.


Jamie, whom I had the pleasure of seeing play Tony in Curve's 5 star version of West Side Story, sung the number 'Maria' from the show. Sandra revisited her powerful turn as Motormouth Maybelle from Hairspray to bring arguably the best number of the night with her show stopping version of 'I Know Where I've Been'The final number came from the three ladies, Shan, Sandra and Sophie with the upbeat Whitney Houston song 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' leaving the audience on a high as the evening came to an end. 


Between each number Greg and the cast had some really insightful chats about their careers to date, their current or future projects. From the early moments in the careers, to being in shows with big loyal fan bases or to a chat about on stage injuries - these insightful conversations were really interesting to listen to. 


The night was a fabulous celebration of music and theatre. It's great to see and hear such a supremely talented set of singers and musicians dazzling an audience in the West End and virtually. We've all missed that live performance during the lockdowns and these Monday Night At The Apollo's offer a wholesome and uplifting evening at the theatre - even if that's from home.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - a fantastic host, a sensational line-up all making an evening of wonderful music and conversation.


You can stream both this episode and the earlier episode from 24th May 2021 through Thespie - tickets cost £17 which gives viewers access to watch until July 1st 2021. 

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