Tag Archives: Chichester Festival Theatre

Review: Caroline, Or Change ★★★★ – Tony Kushner draws on his Deep South Jewish childhood for a thrilling musical of the changing times in 60s America

Ah, Jewish guilt! It propels so many of us. Like our childhoods, it’s a rich seam to mine and Tony Kushner draws on both to fashion this magnificent musical evocation of a time of social change in America he observed first-hand as a small boy. He gives us the microcosm: how change, against the backdrop of Kennedy’s assassination and the civil rights movement, affects a Jewish family in the Deep South.

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Review: Mack & Mabel – Jerry Herman’s love affair with the silent screen is a thrill

Rebecca LaChance (Mabel), Michael Ball (Mack) and company in Chichester Festival Theatre production of Mack & Mabel © Manuel Harlan

Although I’ve seen two terrific small-scale productions of Jerry Herman’s musical biopic, this is the first time there’s been a chance to see just how this love song to early movie pioneers would work on the big stage – and with enough money to throw at it to exploit the idea of actually making and showing “tribute” film footage. And before the lights went up, I realised there was another vital element of this great big show that was going to make all the difference – a big band with a wonderfully big brassy sound! So my feeling of well-being began with the overture. A trio of big, familiar numbers at the top of the show serves as a delicious reminder of Herman’s lush score – at the same time sophisticated, yet drawing on that evocative minor “Jewish” fall.

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