Review: Theatre Channel: Stephen Schwartz (online)

As I was out of London for the press showing of this with live Q&A at the Theatre Cafe, I’m reviewing the version you can all see now on stream.theatre. Stephen Schwartz has been writing musicals for five decades, and in this special episode from the Theatre Channel, he talks in-between the numbers about the shows and the numbers we see.

With Pippin and The Prince of Egypt coming to the end of their runs, plus the resounding success of the recent concert version of Children of Eden, and the 15th birthday of Wicked! in the West End, Schwartz is a composer and lyricist well-regarded over here.

This showcase opens, quite rightly, with vibrant performances of Pippin‘s “Magic for You”, led by Ian Carlyle and the cast from the Charing Cross Theatre production. A hippy vibe translates seamlessly into a medley of “Prepare Ye/Beautiful City” from Godspell, with Melanie La Barrie and the Cafe Five.

Promotional image for Theatre Channel episode 8

Locations are different this time, with the Theatre Cafe’s indoor spaces switched for those of the Park Theatre. Alice Fearn‘s “It’s An Art” from Working utilises the public bar well, while Jo Eaton-Kent‘s intimate performance of Wicked‘s “I’m Not That Girl” highlights that even big spectacle shows can have quiet moments.

Schwartz also gives us a peek into his new work, Dream Big!, with a song from Be More Chill‘s Stewart Clarke with Christine Allado. With this sparkling duet, and a closing version of “When You Believe” which gives new meaning to a song from The Prince of Egypt which usually relies on a huge cast filling a stage.

These digital showcases have become very valuable over the past couple of years, giving exposure to performers and entertainment to those at home. You can enjoy this episode on stream.theatre now – book your tickets here for any of the Theatre Channel’s shows.

What do you think?

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