BWW Reviews: USHERS - THE FRONT OF HOUSE MUSICAL Original Cast Recording
Due to open on Friday at the Charing Cross Theatre, Ushers: The Front of House Musical is also being released by SimG Records on Monday so a busy week for this new British musical! The show was one of the finalists in last year's 'Search for a Composer' competition by West End Producer and following a try-out run at the Hope Theatre, the production is hoping to recreate its success in town.
The show is written by Yiannis Koutsakos, James Oban and James Rottger and is, as you would expect, about front line theatre staff who dream about being the other side of the proscenium; which ironically is very relevant for out-of-work actors today so there is a level of poignancy throughout the recording.
The show opens by demonstrating some wonderful harmonies in 'Welcome' which is also replicated later in 'Interval Preparations', 'Welcome Back' and 'Goodbye'. These numbers are incredibly cheery and there is an element of falseness based on the fact that the ushers are predominantly just keeping up appearances. Between these musical bookends, there is a lot of much needed sentimentality and there are some great vocals in there alongside Lee Freeman's tinkling on the piano. It is very much an ensemble piece but stand outs include Carly Thoms (Lucy) beautifully singing about her aspirations in 'Dreams & Ice Creams' - probably my favourite number on the recording. Liam Ross-Mills as Ben explains in '(I've Got To) Let Go' how he is fed up of working Front of House and his relationship problems with Gary (Daniel Buckley). Buckley responds to this in Act Two in 'Half Finished Story' and all comes together in 'Loving You Is All I Know', a beautiful duet.
Simon Beechey must be given credit as he who designed the CD; it is very attractive and enticing. Ushers: The Front of House Musical is a slightly wacky show and is a bit 'out there' but it is a really pleasant listen and I sincerely hope it does well during its imminent run.
Ushers: The Front of House Musical will be available on iTunes, at www.SimGProductions.com or physically at the Charing Cross Theatre from Monday 10th March.