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BWW Review: ZORRO: THE MUSICAL IN CONCERT, Cadogan Hall

BWW Review: ZORRO: THE MUSICAL IN CONCERT, Cadogan Hall

BWW Review: ZORRO: THE MUSICAL IN CONCERT, Cadogan Hall The legend of Zorro has proved to be a well-loved and enduring story - providing the basis for a novel by Isabel Allende, several popular movies, and a West End musical which toured internationally.

Yesterday evening, Club 11 and Take Two Theatricals presented a concert version of Zorro: The Musical at Cadogan Hall, supported by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra. A stellar cast included Ricardo Afonso (Jesus Christ Superstar, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), and original Zorro cast members Lesli Margherita and Emma Williams.

Don Diego de la Vega, a wealthy young caballero, is sent away from his California home by his father, Don Alejandro, to attend school in Spain. He is forced to leave his childhood love Luisa, who is also being sent away by Diego's father. Diego falls in love with his new home, eventually joining a group of performing gypsies and becoming their star attraction.

Without including too many spoilers, word soon reaches Diego that a new ruler has taken power in California, stripping the people of their rights. Diego is faced with a dilemma: whether to choose love or responsibility, and ultimately creates the mysterious hero Zorro in order to help the people of his homeland.

Ricardo Afonso was an absolute wonder in the role of Diego and his alter ego, Zorro. His vocals were glorious and he captured the nuances of both roles perfectly - proving he can evoke both a tear and a laugh with complete ease. His astounding performance of "Hope (Reprise)" received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Lesli Margherita reprised her Olivier Award-winning role of Inez with relish and vigour. Vivacious and sizzling to the core, her performance was a joy to behold.

Emma Williams also reprised her role of Luisa - for which she received an Olivier nomination during the original West End run. A truly gifted performer with an impressive voice, she brought the role to life extremely well.

My only gripe with the piece is that some of Luisa's songs begin to sound a little similar to each other after a while. However, this is a small issue which would probably be alleviated if the production was fully staged. Nevertheless, William's portrayal was highly accomplished.

Robert Triplino (Jesus Christ Superstar, Rags) delivered an assured performance as Diego's callous brother, Ramon, as did Jo Parsons (Spamalot, Les Misérables) as the often flamboyant Garcia. The book by Stephen Clark (who also provided lyrics for the piece) is surprisingly good - offering many clever comedic moments.

The cast were supported flawlessly by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra and chorus. Led by the incomparable Freddie Tapner, it seems everything the LMTO touch turns to gold - and this concert was no exception.

The music, created by the Gipsy Kings, was a delight. Familiar songs such as "Bamboleo" had the whole auditorium up on their feet during the encore, and humming the catchy melodies all the way to the bar.

A splendid offering from everyone involved, which I'm sure left the majority of the audience wondering when we're going to see a West End revival. A treat and a triumph all round.

Zorro: The Musical in Concert was at Cadogan Hall on 23 February



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From This Author - Laura Fuller