Il Divo with Lea Salonga – Queen Elizabeth Theatre – April 10, 2014
A Musical Affair is the latest album and tour for international operatic pop quartet, Sébastien Izambard, Carlos Marin, David Miller and Urs Bühler. Last week Il Divo played their western Canada tour leg starting at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, Broadway icon, Lea Salonga performed along side the group for a selection of duets and solos.
The packed house of Divo-tees were eagerly buzzing with anticipation as the house lights dimmed, the onstage orchestra played a medley of the show tunes that would be presented during the night then as they struck up the opening notes to “Tonight” from West Side Story the quartet strode onstage to great cheer. The night was filled with familiar tunes selected from the best of musical theatre, “Some Enchanted Evening”, “Memories”, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”, “Love Changes Everything”, “Impossible Dream” to name just a few of the set sung in English, Italian, Spanish and French.
Join midway through the first and second act by the incomparable Lea Salonga for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “A Whole New World” (Ms Salongo was the original singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin). She also performed solos of “Defying Gravity”, “Back To Before” and a medley of “I Dreamed A Dream” and “On My Own” from Les Miserable.
Each of the Il Divo members took their own moment during the set to discuss their own experience with musical theatre before introducing a song that held meaning for them. The gentlemen kept the banter light playing with the audience, many of whom who bantered back, especially tenor Carlo Marin making the most of his latin lover character much to the delight of many of the ladies present.
After a brief interlude the encore wrapped up with a version of “My Way” and “Time To Say Goodbye” for which they were joined again my Lea Salonga before taking their bows and receiving another of the many standing ovations of the night.
A Musical Affair tour continues across North America through the summer before moving to Europe, follow their exploits on Twitter @IlDivoOfficial and Facebook.com/IlDivo. Lea Salonga can be found on Twitter @MsLeaSalonga and Facebook.com/MsLeaSalonga
Even though the original material is decades old, the general story behind “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” is timeless; juggling career & love aspirations while climbing to the top of the corporate ladder.
Perfectly on trend to fit into today’s Mad Men styled retro chic the musical plays u p the humour in an innocent manner as the comedy of errors and good fortune unfolds. This revival garnered much attention upon it’s debut in spring 2011 by featuring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in the lead role of J Pierrepont Finch the young window washer who aspires for a seat inside the corner office, rather than hanging outside the window looking in.
Following Radcliffe with a run by Darren Criss (Glee) and now by Nick Jonas (Jonas Brothers) plays the lead. Beau Bridges has taken over for Tony nominee John Larroquette as J.P. Biggley the boss of World Wide Widgets, and Michael Urie (Ugle Betty) is Biggley’s smarmy nephew and Finch’s prime nemesis Bud Frump. The lovely Stephanie Rothenberg, makes her Broadway debut as the love interest/secretary Rosemary Pilkington.
The play opens with Finch hanging from his window washer’s harness reading his “How To Succeed In Business” book, which is narrated by Anderson Cooper throughout the performance. Each chapter of the book helps get Finch one step closer to achieving his desired level of success. As one expects in a comedy things rarely go smoothly but, like water off a ducks back, none of the misfortune ever seems to stick to Finch. Although the songs and dialogue may at times seem dated, that adds to the quaint and kitchy humour. Jonas amiably provides the linchpin holding the show and audience (including many, many young Jonas Brothers fans) in the palm of his hand. Already a broadway veteran having appeared in Beauty and The Beast, Les Miserables and Annie Get Your Gun before joining this production. Michael Park, understudy to Beau Bridges, performed the role of Finch’s boss. The slapstick and comedy are well-timed and choreographed throughout the show, some of the numbers work the cast into a sweat, especially considering the heavy suits and sweaters the men wear.
The show culminated in the big production number featuring most of the cast and ensemble for “Brotherhood Of Man”. How To Succeed is a fun show that’s definitely worth a viewing if you get the chance.
How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying is now playing at Al Hirshfeld Theatre at 302 West 45th Street New York.