2014 Theatre Preview: Kevin Sherwin's Picks
When it comes to the question of what I'm most looking forward to in 2014, I have but three words: Grease. Two. Live. Or rather Cool Rider Live, as it was hastily renamed following what was presumably some kind of killjoy rights issue. At any rate, the prospect of seeing my favourite film of all time performed live on stage - albeit in "concert" form - is beyond thrilling. Having taken the Pink Ladies' Pledge as a child and done my best to live by it ever since, I fully expect this one-night-only event (two shows at the Lyric Theatre on the 27th January) to be the theatrical highlight of my year, and I suggest those attending do so in costume, or in your mother's underwear at the very least*.
Elsewhere, I'm hoping for a West End transfer of American Psycho, having been dazzled by it at the Almeida in December - I need to see the choreography for the fabulous couture-culture satire You Are What You Wear at least ten more times. I'm also hoping rumours of a London production Memphis come to fruition; it gets a hard time for supposedly not being worthy of its Best Musical Tony Award, but I found it and its perky gospel-soul score quite delightful when I saw the show on Broadway.
Must say I'm less enthused about I Can't Sing: The X Factor Musical, clips of which have left me decidedly underwhelmed, although I am committed to seeing anything involving Cynthia Erivo after her triumphant, transcendent performance in The Color Purple in 2013. I'm also not especially keen on what I've heard from Kinky Boots, which is supposedly coming our way, but on the other hand, these are two new musicals with original scores and for that reason alone should be welcomed and given a fair shot. Oh hang on, but they're also based on an existing TV show and film which I think is bad so maybe they should be maligned after all. Hard to know.
Otherwise, I live in naive and never-ending hope for London productions of Next to Normal and Bombshell - the former being far more likely, of course. Though I did splutter "BOMBSHELL HAS TO HAPPEN" at Marc Shaiman last year, so hopefully he knew what I meant by that and is getting cracking on it as we speak.
*Not really - it's just a reference to the film, although I suppose you can if you want.