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 Post subject: 125th Street
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2002 11:03 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Soul survivors recreate Harlem
by Tim Cooper in The Evening Standard

The summer of '69 - it's showtime at the Harlem Apollo and out on 125th Street, there's a riot going on. The stars can't get through the police barricades and the theatre crew are lining up to step into the soul shoes of former Amateur Night discoveries such as James Brown and Gladys Knight.

With a setting like that, finding the right songs was never going to be a problem for the producers of 125th Street.

The new West End musical is inspired by the theatre whose name is synonymous with black music, and by its tradition of giving unknown talent a chance to shine.

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 Post subject: Re: 125th Street
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2002 1:51 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in The Times.

Quote:
HAVING spun Buddy Holly’s back catalogue into West End gold, the creators of Buddy are now plundering the greatest hits of Sixties soul and R&B for a new clapathon masquerading as a musical. Rob Bettinson and Alan Janes’s 125th Street wants us to believe that we’re in 1969 in the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, where such artists as James Brown and Marvin Gaye got their first breaks as winners of its famous Amateur Night.
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 Post subject: Re: 125th Street
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2002 8:12 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
125th Street
by Rachel Halliburton, Evening Standard

The Apollo Theatre, Harlem, launched a thousand musical successes, yet, on the face of it, this does not seem to be one of them. Considering the epoch-shaking originality of the talents who marched across the legendary stage - James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin and Jackie Wilson to name a few - this ragged tribute has little to declare but an apology of a storyline, with a hit-and-miss song parade.

However, in a climate where the success of a musical seems inversely proportional to the praise critics lavish on it, it is worth analysing the components of this show for glimmers of crowd-pulling potential. Certainly, one of the most striking aspects of Rob Bettinson and Alan Janes's creation is its determination to encourage members of the audience to fulfil their West End dreams by going up on stage and singing to the accompaniment of a diminutive upright piano.

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 Post subject: Re: 125th Street
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2002 1:53 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in The Independent.

Quote:
The street name-checked in the title of this musical is the main artery of Harlem and the site of the Apollo Theatre, where, from 1934 to 1975, black audiences could see black singing stars. The carotid artery is the one that supplies blood to the brain, and throughout this show I kept fearing it would close down, wishing to put me out of my misery.

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 Post subject: Re: 125th Street
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 158
125th Street - Shaftesbury
By Gerald Berkowitz for The Stage


Devised and directed by Rob Bettinson and Alan Janes – the same team that created Buddy – this new compilation musical is aimed at the same audience, promising a good night out for the not particularly demanding.

The premise is a television show being broadcast from Harlem's famous Apollo Theatre in 1969. The
host, a fading star played with appropriate smarminess by Domenick Allen, is trying to look hip by featuring black performers but riots in the street keep his stars away and he must make do with the theatre's resident second-stringers. Eventually they take over the show, giving the
backstage crew the chance to perform as well.

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<small>[ 10-15-2002, 15:31: Message edited by: PressUK ]</small>


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