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Posts Tagged ‘Hippie’

This is like time travelling back 43 years. The first ever alternative rock musical has become  a £65-a-go ride in the new hippie theme park! At least Daniel Kramer’s revival at the tiny Gate Theatre a few years back retained some sense of ‘alternative’ (though it has to be said this lot are easier on the eye – that’s the fringe for you!).  The anti-war message could and should mean something in these war-torn times, but is about as sincere as businesses going green because its cheaper.

This virtually plotless show has four songs which have now become standards (boy, doesn’t Good Morning Starshine sound twee?!) and another 2 hours of unmemorable undistinguished blandness. It only came alive briefly in the second act during the extended anti-war sequence, but the only purpose this show serves in 2010 is its part in the history of musical theatre.

Having said that, the staging is good (though I could have done with less ventures into the audience, which I’m sure went down a storm on Broadway but work less well with a more inhibited West End audience) and the musical standards are outstanding. I can’t comment on Will Swenson’s Berger because I got his rather weak understudy, but the rest of the leads were very good, particularly Gavin Creel’s Claude.

Go if you’re ‘collecting’ musicals or fancy an evening in one room of the museum of musical theatre, but please don’t expect anything ground-breaking, challenging, relevant or for that matter particularly entertaining. Like all museum exhibits, you look at them and learn but that’s about it.

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