BWW Review: LUCIE JONES LIVE AT THE ADELPHI, Adelphi Theatre
Lucie Jones has certainly earned her musical theatre stripes in the past few years. Stints in Rent, Legally Blonde, and more recently Waitress, have cemented her as one of our most accomplished musical theatre actresses.
And last night, during Lucie Jones Live at the Adelphi, as theatreland came together to celebrate her talents, Jones showcased her authentic self - and it was a delight to witness.
Kicking off with a powerful rendition of the musical classic "Don't Rain on My Parade", Jones delivered the stupendous belt that she's become known for. Next up was Kander & Ebb's "Sing Happy", a song made famous by Liza Minelli in Flora the Red Menace, followed by a bit of a pace change with "A Summer in Ohio" from Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years. A notoriously hard sing, Jones found the humour and passion in Cathy's love song and was able to deliver it almost, it seemed, without taking a breath.
Speaking of tricky sings, "So Much Better" from Legally Blonde was another highlight, roping in a rather game Liam Doyle from the audience (who starred opposite Jones as Warner on the UK Tour).
John Owen-Jones made a guest appearance, duetting with Jones on "The Prayer", which brought the auditorium to an enthralled silence as they harmonised beautifully together. This, perhaps, drew the biggest applause of the evening.
Marisha Wallace - Jones's co-star in Waitress - also joined her in a spot of "Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent - a sure-fire hit for any stagey audience, and the energy between them worked well. Another crowd-pleaser was "Into the Unknown" from Frozen 2 - a song which most probably haven't yet heard sung live (professionally) and Jones chose the Panic! At The Disco arrangement which was an inspired, edgier choice.
Switching out of musical theatre for a moment, Jones performed "Never Give Up On You" from her 2017 Eurovision entry - a punchy pop ballad that really suits her voice. But as soon as we had left the world of musical theatre, we were right back in it again with "She Used to Be Mine" from, of course, her current show, Waitress. Sara Bareilles (who has temporarily taken the role of Jenna over from Jones) was in the audience and yelled out her support as Lucie regaled us with funny anecdotes from her gushing audition process with Bareilles herself.
The fantastic 22-piece London Musical Theatre Orchestra (conducted by Freddie Tapner) provided the backbone to Jones's performance, which was recorded live for a concert album available in the spring.
The charm of Lucie Jones lies in her lack of ceremony - she is her authentic self at all times, imbuing her performances with a raw, unbridled joy that draws everyone close. Last night, the Adelphi was Lucie Jones's living room and we were her friends around the fire. One can only hope that feeling of warmth translates onto the live recording.