- Finian Hackett
My Top 12 Favourite Performances Ever! (Part 1)
First of all, I'd like to say a huge thank you to all my viewers and readers, as fintothewoods has now been up for a month! I've had such a positive response from everyone and it's really given me the drive to write more. A new archive section is currently being made where information about shows (amateur and professional) will be available to view for free right here. Some of you may even see yourself feature!
So, for this post, I'm going to be listing some of my favourite musical theatre performances I have seen. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean the show was my favourite, but these performances stood out for me. Now in no particular order...
1. Christy Altomare - Anastasia
After growing up absolutely loving the film I was so so excited to see its Broadway transformation; it did not disappoint! The show as a whole was stunning, but particularly Christy's performance. She made the role her own and stole the audience's heart from beginning to end. One moment that really stood out for me was her performance of 'Journey to the Past', as I was sat in the front row and could really see how much emotion she put into her character. She stayed with the show for its full 800 performance long run but was robbed of a Tony nomination for this brilliant performance.
2. Natalie McQueen - Kinky Boots
I didn't really know this show at all going into it but I had fallen in love by the end, particularly with Natalie McQueen. McQueen starred as Lauren, the assembly line worker who has fallen for her boss Charlie. She was funny and quick and just generally stood out from the rest of the already amazing cast. Her rendition of 'The History of Wrong Guys' was the highlight of the show for me and many others around us. Luckily you can still see this performance as she reprised her role in the 2019 live film recording of the show.
3. Imelda Staunton - Gypsy
Gypsy is my favourite show of all time. Every woman that has taken on the role of pushy stage mother Mama Rose has put their own spin on it and Imelda is no different. I saw the show in its original run at Chichester in 2014 and was completely blown away. Imelda brought so much power to the role and you felt her pain at what she had gone through and the sacrifices she had made for her children. The raw emotion was particularly strong in the iconic number 'Rose's Turn' - the big 11 o'clock number where Rose lets it all out. I have never seen a performance quite like it and doubt I ever will again. Luckily this show was also filmed live in the West End and is available to watch now!
4. Leslie Kritzer - Beetlejuice
I saw Beetlejuice on a college trip earlier this year and wasn't expecting much. It was booked by the college and it wasn't really something that I was particularly looking forward to. I enjoyed the show and thought it was quite good but the performers in this show really stood out for me, especially Leslie Kritzer as Delia/Miss Argentina. Kritzer's comic timing, delivery and altogether outstanding performance have stuck with me ever since. She plays the self-obsessed and overdramatic Delia brilliantly but she completely changes character for Miss Argentina, a dead beauty queen in the afterlife. Her song 'What I Know Now' had the audience on their feet and was a chance for Leslie to show off her large range.
5. Charlie Stemp - Half a Sixpence
One of only 2 males on the list, Charlie Stemp's Olivier-nominated turn in Half a Sixpence was a stand out for me. The rewritten and revamped production of this classic musical gave Charlie Stemp his big break and created a star. He charmed the audience and you completely fell in love with his story and his character - something that is very hard to achieve in musical theatre. He deserved all the praise he got for his performance and has obviously gone on to play some amazing roles; currently, he is Bert in the West End revival of Mary Poppins, which could see him win another Olivier.
6. Bette Midler - Hello, Dolly!
A night I will never forget is seeing Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly!. This was my first time seeing a proper Broadway classic in New York and with the incredible Bette Midler at the helm it was sure to be memorable. We stood up at least 4 times throughout the show with one ovation lasting well over a minute. The star power she emits is second to none and she brought the house down. I also saw Charlie Stemp in his Broadway debut as Barnaby! Bette Midler's Tony-winning performance will go down in Broadway history, that is for certain.
Part 2 coming later this week! Let me know your favourite performances!