Now & Forever: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber

 

Conceived by Aaron Thielen & Marc Robin

Directed by Marc RobinNow & forever logo

Music Direction by Ryan T. Nelson

Choreographed by Marc Robin, Harrison McEldowney & Matt Raftery

At Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire, IL

Stylish dance infused world premiere of  Webber’s music is  a major theatrical treat!

Marriott’s lead artistic director, Aaron Thielen and Marc Robin (who holds 16 jeff Awards), both enthusiast lovers of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music , conceived and created a most stunning and artistically stylish music revue. With a cast of 19, this ALW review  has much dance including naturalistic movement and ballet styled dance to instrumental renditions of ALW music.  There is a tango from Evita, a tap number and waltzes and ballet. Choreographer Marc Robin wisely got help with the ambitious choreography from Harrison McEldowney (Hibbard Street Dance) and Matt Raftery. You’ll not see finer dance in any revue.

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But, ultimately, the ALW songbook has an amazing variety that was marvelously sung by aan “A” list of Broadway musical talents.  From the first tune, “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” (Sunset Boulevard) the entire cast of singers demonstrated their vocal acumen.   Ben Jacoby and Erin Stewart nailed “I Believe My Heart” from The Women in White.  next, Susan Moniz tenderly sings “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from Phantom of the Opera. Linda Balgord, a veteran of many ALW productions, emotionally sings “With One Look” from Sunset Boulevard.

A duet by Max Quinlan and Erin Stewart of the title song from Phantom was riveting. With exquisite masks, the entire company soars with the Phantom’s “Masquerade.” Travis Taylor uses his booming baritone in “Til I Hear You Sing from Love Never Dies. Of Course, we hear Jameson Cooper,  guitar in hand, do  “Any Dream Will Do” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Even the horrible Starlight Express is represented by Brian Bohr’s passionate title number.

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Act two has more dancing and many stirring ALW anthems including “Unexpected Song” bu Catherine Lord from Song & Dance, “Tell me on a Sunday” Song & Dance, “Anything But Lonely” from Aspects of Love sung by Linda Balgord.  The three guy singers – Ben Jacoby, Max Quinlan, and Travis Taylor passionately do “Love Changes Everything” from Aspects of Love. Susan Moniz’s emotional rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” was terrific while Max Quinlan enchantingly  digs deep to land “Gethsemane” from Superstar. Linda Balgors stirs us up with the enchanting “Memory” from Cats. this fabulous revue ends with “The Music of the Night” from Phantom.

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Patti Garwood’s eleven musician did justice to ALW’s music. This is the finest sounding orchestra I’ve ever heard at Marriott Theatre.  Nancy Massimi’s costumes were terrific and Diane Ferry Williams’ lighting was spectacular. Kudos to Aaron Thielen and Marc Robin for creating such a slick, polished and passionate tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songbook. This wonderful show will surly become a standard revue to be payed out in theatres everywhere. It shows why ALW has brought more patrons into the theatre than any other modern composer/producer. Don’t miss this gem.  Marc Robin and the creatives at Marriott Theatre, once again, prove that they are astute musical theatre artists skilled in the creation and execution of wonderful theatre.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: January 23, 2013

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the Now & Forever page at theatreinchicago.com

At Marriott Theatre, Rt, 21 & 45 in Lincolnshire, IL, call 847-634-0200, www.marriotttheatre.com, tickets $40 -$48, Wednesdays at 1 & 8pm, Thursdays & Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4:30 & 8 pm, Sundays at1 & 5 pm, running time is 2 hour, 20 minutes with intermission, through  march17, 2013

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