BWW Reviews: MOMENTOUS MUSICALS, New Wimbledon Theatre, July 20 2012
Momentous Musicals brought together some of musical theatre's brightest young stars for a one-off concert belting out (and I mean belting out) 23 songs from shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. There were plenty of old favourites there, but not all choices were obvious, lending a pleasing "insiders'" feel to the evening.
Marching on and off stage were Jonathan Ansell, Daniel Boys, Emma Williams, Rachael Wooding and poster boy and crowd favourite Gareth Gates. Backed by George Dyer's excellent band, and energetic, if a little under-rehearsed, dancers, the audience were spellbound, greeting each performance with waves of applause.
But did it work? I'm not entirely convinced that it did. Jonathan Ansell brought the house down with an impassioned Gethsemane from Jesus Christ Superstar, but it was preceded by an equally impassioned Why, God, Why (Miss Saigon) from Gareth Gates and followed up by and jaunty No One But You (We Will Rock You) from Rachael Wooding. With no costume changes, no back-projections and no introductions to contextualise the songs, it was tricky sometimes to become "involved" as one should in musicals' epic set-pieces. It was perhaps telling that the song that worked best was Ghost's Unchained Melody, a song that stands in its own right.
Despite those reservations, the full house enjoyed every second of the show and would certainly come back for more. This was a one-off concert at New Wimbledon Theatre, but, after such support from the public, one can expect many more shows like this in the future.