BWW Reviews: GIGGIN4GOOD - WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR, St Paul's Church Covent Garden, May 18 2014
When the orchestra began to play the opening number - Leigh Harline and Ned Washington's Disney signature song, "When You Wish Upon A Star" - the music began to swell and swirl around the space of the Actors' Church in a way that clearly promised that this was going to be an evening of musical magic. And the entire concert that followed never failed to live up to that promise.
The orchestra under the expert guidance of musical director Marc McBride's baton provided a sumptuous musical underscore to a host of Disney classic numbers, including various Alan Menken stage and screen musical fare, the Sherman Brothers' Mary Poppins and, of course, songs from the most recent Disney animated musical sensation, "Frozen" - all linked and introduced with wit and charm by compere Benjamin Vivian-Jones.
The songs were delivered with a consistently high level of vocal prowess by a stellar cast of musical theatre vocalists. Among the highlights were a beautiful rendition of "Part Of Your World" by Lisa Anne Wood, a rich and powerful performance of "If I Can't Love Her" by Shaun McCourt, a bright and sassy delivery of Peggy Lee's "He's A Tramp" by Carolyn Maitland and Lauren Ingram, a novel and hilarious take on "A Whole New World" by Keith Jack and Alan Richardson (fresh from the acclaimed all-male HMS Pinafore tour) and a comic tour de force performance of Michael Bruce's "Portrait Of A Princess" by Julie Atherton.
The one departure from the evening's Disney theme was a mini-showcase of three songs from a brand new musical, "Shadow On The Sun" - a teaser for the next Giggin4Good concert (in July) which will be an evening of new musical theatre writing.
Giggin4Good - When You Wish Upon A Star was pretty much a triumph in every sense - a high quality evening of entertainment which also raised around £2, 700 for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
The show ended with vocal powerhouse Alexia Khadime singing the words "the cold never bothered me anyway", and even though the words may not have been quite apropos for the heat of the summer evening, everyone in the audience who had enjoyed such a magical night would have agreed to "Let It Go".
Definitely 5 Disney Stars for this show!