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. click for more