Review: KYLE DEAN MASSEY, Crazy Coqs

The Nashville and Broadway star returns to the cabaret stage.

By: Apr. 04, 2024
Review: KYLE DEAN MASSEY, Crazy Coqs
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

Review: KYLE DEAN MASSEY, Crazy Coqs After two years away, Kyle Dean Massey steps back onto the cabaret stage at London’s Crazy Coqs.

Massey’s long career spans both Broadway and TV. He is probably best known to British audiences for his role as songwriter Kevin Bicks in the American musical drama Nashville while, on the Great White Way, he played Fiyero Tigelaar in Wicked on and off for a dozen years between 2007 and 2019 as well as roles as Next To Normal and the lead role in Pippin.

If that break away from a cabaret room has affected his confidence, there were few clear signs as he dives straight into Sunset Boulevard’s “As If We Never Said Goodbye”. In some ways, he was onto a hiding for nothing - the memory of Nicole Scherzinger belting the hell out of that song last year still rings in the capital's ears - but it was an apt a way as any of announcing his return to this intimate environment.

While some of those who have stepped onto the Crazy Coqs stage have chosen to use songs to step through the lives of others - for example, Richard Shelton’s various Sinatra cabarets, Kate Dimbleby’s The Dory Previn Story and  Peter Straker’s tribute to Jacques Brel - Massey instead takes us through his own personal experiences, demonstrating his rich knowledge of musical theatre and his own views on the industry.

He starts the journey right at the beginning with “The Only Home I Know” from the 1974 Civil War-themed show Shenandoah. Despite winning Tony awards for Best Book and Best Actor in its debut season, the tragic story of a Virginia widower’s hunt for his kidnapped son has never made it to the West End. Massey was introduced to the musical at school and here he finds deep resonance in this touching song.

The nods to his Broadway successes are all prefaced with charming stories. Pippin’s “Corner Of The Sky” comes with a tale about how this was his audition piece when he was looking for a university course before he later got to sing it for Broadway audiences. The singer recollects the serious injury he suffered on his Wicked debut show before rolling out Fiyero’s signature song “Dancing Through Life”, nailing the high notes with precision and power.  “I Miss The Mountains” from Next To Normal (which returns to the West End later this year) is delivered with a heartfelt poignancy.

There are points where he moves  away from the biographical to delve into other topics close to his heart. He talks about how happy he was on Nashville to play a gay role where the chief focus is not on the character’s sexuality and then rolls out Aladdin’s “Proud Of Your Boy”. He expounds on how many musicals have an “I Want” song which allow audiences a peek into the protagonist’s ambitions and he gives a great example of this through West Side Story’s “Something’s Coming”.

A country music-styled Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” was never going to top Le Gateau Chocolat’s torch song version, but has its own particular charms. Massey’s skills as a singer and actor and his intelligent and frank insights are a winning combination which we look forward to seeing more of.  

Kyle Dean Massey next stars in “The Holiday Exchange”, an lgbtq+ Christmas romance coming this December.

Photo credit: Phillip Cowndley


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor