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Review Roundup: EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE Opens in Los Angeles- See What the Critics Had to Say!

Everybody's Talking About Jamie celebrates acceptance, belonging, the power of unconditional love.

Performances of the North American premiere of the West End hit musical "Everybody is Talking About Jamie" began on January 21, 2022, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre and will run through February 20, 2022. Let's see what the critics had to say!

Inspired by a true story, winner of three WhatsOnStage Awards including Best New Musical and nominated for five Olivier Awards, this funny, fabulous musical sensation has thrilled audiences and critics alike since opening in 2017. Fresh and contemporary with an extraordinary mother and son relationship at its center, "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" celebrates acceptance, belonging, the power of unconditional love of a mother for her child and how good life is when everybody is the best they can be.

Jamie New (played by Williams) is sixteen and lives in public housing in Sheffield, England. Jamie doesn't quite fit in, he's terrified about the future and he's going to be a sensation. Supported by his loving mum (played Jacques); inspired by local legend Hugo and his alter ego Loco Chanelle (played by Haylock); and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight. "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" features catchy songs by Dan Gillespie Sells, lead singer-songwriter of UK rock band The Feeling with book and lyrics by writer Tom MacRae.


Tracey Paleo, BroadwayWorld: The writing is clear but not always particularly compelling in and of itself. The musical score even-handed and nice although not explosive. And the choreography a satisfying sidebar to the production that fulfills youth culture taste. The set however is its most exciting aspect. The floor-to-ceiling illuminated and flashing panels really give that big-pop-concert feel and essentially the oomph that keeps the transitions from dragging. And you simply cannot beat the acting. All the performers perfectly glide through the dialogs and situations. The ease of the ensemble work is so natural it's almost not even noticeable with Hiba Elchikhe as Pritti Pasha, giving a particularly beautiful performance as Jamie's best friend. It really is a "day-in-the-life..."

Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times: It's a pity that "Everybody's Talking About Jamie," an exceptionally sweet-natured show, couldn't have hit Los Angeles at a more welcoming moment. The genial musical wears its heart on its sleeve, and though it's formulaic and sentimental, the force of good will coming from the stage is hard to resist.

Maureen Lee Lenker, Entertainment Weekly: Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a glitter-coated tribute to living life loudly and proudly as your truest self, naysayers be damned. In its sparkle, it's also a welcome escape from reality. The culture it presents trades in appearances and concealment, transforming and exposing in equal measure - yet ironically, the show's weakest moments often arrive when it tries to peel away the wigs and the bright-blue eyelashes to say something profound. Still, no one can say it's a drag.

Alisa Hayashida, South Pasadenan: "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" takes us to a high school in current day Sheffield, England, where 16 year old Jamie sits, bored, along with his classmates in a careers class. They've all taken an aptitude test and Jamie's came back "forklift driver". Meanwhile he secretly dreams of being a drag queen and wearing a dress to prom. Obviously not the conventional or easy choice in a place like Sheffield. With a decidedly disapproving father, bullies at school and not a mentor in sight, what's a young boy to do? With one true friend, a super cool "aunt", a retired drag queen legend, and a fiercely loving mum, Jamie sets out, well, to figure it out. The journey is a fizzy, pop-fueled delight with a powerful mother and son story at its core that gives it plenty of heart.

Rachel Hsu, Theatrely: Like Jamie himself, this show has some pretty big stilettos to fill. While drag might be shocking in Sheffield, it's a known quantity in the world of musical theatre (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Kinky Boots, Tootsie, on and on and on). So are British schoolkids, queer coming-of-age stories, and messed-up families. Everybody's Talking About Jamie nevertheless sets itself apart by centering effervescent joy. Jamie's drag is never a punchline - it is beautiful and celebrated. It's a queer story that is in no way a tragedy. Everybody's Talking About Jamie preaches love and acceptance, and wants to put a smile on your face while doing so.

LAArtParty.com: "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" features catchy songs by Dan Gillespie Sells, lead singer-songwriter of UK rock band The Feeling with book and lyrics by writer Tom MacRae. Director Jonathan Butterell saw the Firecracker documentary film "Jamie: Drag Queen at 16" the true story of Jamie Campbell and his mother, Margaret. This inspired him to create this musical which is a dramatized portrayal of a period in Jamie's life but is not a faithful account. Certain events and characters have been fictionalized. Design by Anna Fleischle, choreography by Kate Prince, lighting design by Lucy Carter, sound design by Paul Groothuis, casting by Will Burton and video design by Luke Hall. The musical supervisor is Theo Jamieson.

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