Jersey Boys Theatre Breaks

Jersey Boys - Theatre Breaks

Jersey Boys – Theatre Breaks

Continuing with my theme of classic shows you might overlook, today’s choice is, Jersey Boys theatre breaks. A show I once described as “a giant turkey”. Mea Culpa! When I’m wrong, I’m really wrong! 

The show has won 55 major awards worldwide, including the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The production has survived a transfer to the Piccadilly Theatre, passed its landmark 2000th performance and is currently booking through to February 2015. There is a tour next year but, like all West End shows, the real magic is to see it in London!

People love Jersey Boys Theatre Breaks.

The show has been a consistently popular choice for theatre breaks every year since it opened in 2008. People love the show and it is obvious when you see the audience that they are enjoying themselves. The songs are classics for a reason. They are still foot tappingly good.

Jersey Boys theatre breaks work well for groups and for most ages, from mid-teens upwards. There is some ‘bad language’ so be aware that you might not find it suitable for younger children.

Jersey Boys - Theatre Breaks

Jersey Boys- click through to check dates for Theatre Breaks

The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the Jersey boys of the title,  is a rags to riches tale. We see the rise to stardom of one the most successful bands in pop history, simply told in words and music by the boys themselves. Four Italian American boys in New Jersey,  from the wrong side of tracks have to cope with the mafia, marriages, loan sharks, desertions, betrayals and even jail!

They search for their own unique sound and eventually they find it.  Boy do they find it! This leads to  some legendary hits with 100 million records sold worldwide. It brings with it all the trappings of success but it comes at a huge cost to band members, with personal lives wrecked along the way.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hits in the show include: Beggin’, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Oh What A Night, Rag Doll, Walk Like A Man, Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye), Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and many more. You will know most of them I suspect! So play the video and see what I mean:

Jersey Boys Theatre Breaks Currently Available (Oct 14)

There are a wide range of dates and packages available for Jersey Boys theatre breaks on our Readers Offers (Jersey Boys) site. A particularly attractive one if you can do Sundays, is the Spice Up Your Sunday, self drive package. Worth checking out!

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Les Miserables Theatre Breaks

Best Musicals in London

Les Mis, still one of the best musicals in London

Today I’m looking at Les Miserables, affectionately known as Les Mis, in my series of classic shows for theatre breaks. These shows are tried and tested. You know exactly what you are getting and that you have a guaranteed great performance to look forward to. It’s not that new shows aren’t great too but sometimes, particularly for a special occasion, you want to be absolutely sure.

Les Miserables theatre breaks are a great choice for any occasion. Lots of people have seen Les Mis more than once, as it has been on so long. A return visit will not disappoint. For this reason the show is quite a common choice for special anniversaries.

Les Miserables Theatre Breaks: the details

Les Mis – the plot

Les Miserables - Theatre Breaks

Les Miserables – Theatre Breaks

Most people already know the basics of the plot, especially after the film was such a big hit.

In very simple terms it tells the story of Jean Valjean.  After 19 years in the galleys for stealing bread,  Jean is turned out onto the streets to beg.

He is taken in by Bishop Myriel who gives him shelter and food. Valjean  steals the Bishop’s silver but is caught. The bishop treats Jean with kindness yet again and gives him  the rest of his silver as a gift, urging him to make something of himself.

Valjean becomes a successful businessman. Inevitably, despite all his efforts to do good in the world he finds himself trapped, pursued by a dogged police captain who is sure he knows Jean of old,  as the barricades go up and Paris explodes in revolution.

This brief synopsis doesn’t give the true flavour of the story as it winds through Paris, the characters, the colour, the atmosphere. The show is poignant and tender, loud and raucous, quiet and moving, filled with laughter one minute and tears the next.

By the end you are exhausted as you’ve traveled through one of the most exciting and dramatic times in history, told as a very human story.

 Les Mis – the music makes it

It is the music of course that makes the show so powerful and moving. Even if you’ve never seen the show, or the film, you will know at least one of the songs! “I dreamed a dream…” ring any bells? Of course it does and the quality of that songs is repeated throughout the show. It is full of wonderful music, solos, duets and ensemble pieces. The music needs to be heard, so don’t just read about it. Play this video of the 10th anniversary concert and enjoy!

Just remember how ever good a recording is it will always be more impressive to see the show in person.

Choices Available for Les Miserables Theatre Breaks

There are lots of travel and hotel options available for Les Miserables theatre breaks on our Readers Offers site. With car, train and coach packages available for a wide range of dates you should be able to find something just right for you. It is a good idea to plan well in advance if you want a special date though, as the show is still packing them in and it does still sell out. Click through here, have a look and see what you can find.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mamma Mia Theatre Breaks

Mamma Mia! - Theatre Breaks

Mamma Mia! – Theatre Breaks

In the rush to see new shows and talk about the latest thing it is easy to forget that some of the best shows for theatre breaks have been going for ages. I’m going to do a series of posts over the next few days to just remind you of some gems that are still gracing the West End that you might overlook. Today I’m going to look at Mamma Mia theatre breaks.

Mamma Mia theatre breaks are a perfect choice for winter

The show has some great dancing!

The show has some great dancing!

Let’s face it, summer is over. The wind howls, the rain lashes. The UK looks grey. What we really need is a quick trip to a warmer, sunnier world.

A world where the music sounds like it did when you were 19. A world full of energetic young people in swimsuits, dancing and singing. A world where we can re-live our glorious, wild, bohemian 1970s past, whether we had one or not!

That’s a Mamma Mia theatre break for you!

Dancing Queens

Dancing Queens

The plot is nonsense of course but it is amiable, feel good nonsense. It works far better as a stage show than a film. For starters all the cast can sing! No offense to the film’s actors but you know who I mean 😉

The music sweeps us along and even if you aren’t an Abba fan you find yourself fighting an almost irresistible urge to join in. You’ll be amazed how many of the words you’ll know.

From Dancing Queen to The Winner Takes It All, we remember them all and the show makes them new and fresh again. I totally loved this show, can you tell? The really funny thing is that I hated Abba back in the day! So how come I know all the songs so well? Who knows! Who cares! I love the show and defy anyone to come out of it without a spring in their step and a smile on their face!

There are a wide range of Mamma Mia theatre breaks available on our Readers Offers site. (I particularly like the look of the self-drive Fabulous Friday one, with a city centre 4* hotel, very reasonable! There are coach and rail based ones too.)

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Current West End Musicals News

Current West End Musicals news and rumours… (October 2014)

Once is to close but not before Ronan gets to play his part.

Current West End Musicals News - Once to close

Current West End Musicals News – Once to close

Once at the Phoenix Theatre posted closing notices with a final performance on 21 March 2015 ahead of a European tour.

Boyzone star Ronan Keating will still  make his West End debut, when he joins the cast of from 17 Nov 2014 to play the leading role of ‘Guy’. Jill Winternitz  continues in her role as ‘Girl’. They will both stay to the end of the production.

Fantastic, that means there’s still time to book Once Theatre Breaks and see ‘himself ‘ in the role.

Matilda the Musical Goes On and On…

A great choice for Friday night theatre breaks this winter

A great choice for Friday night theatre breaks this winter

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Matilda the Musical has extended its booking period – tickets are now on sale to Sunday 20 December 2015 at the Cambridge Theatre.

If you fancy seeing it a bit sooner than that our Readers Offers site has some good deals for this December and beyond.

The Scottsboro Boys Arrive in London

The Scottsboro Boys - Theatre Breaks

The Scottsboro Boys – Theatre Breaks

There were protests when the Scottsboro Boys The Musical  premiered in New York  four years ago. The show was criticised for using a ‘black and white minstrel’ style to tell the story of one of the most controversial race cases in American history. The musical, by John Kander and Fred Ebb, involves black actors “whiteing up” to play the white characters, subverting the black and white minstrel tradition of white actors “blacking up”.

 

“They use it in a powerful way to empower the boys. There are real dramatic honest moments juxtaposed with humour and song and dance. You’re forced to enjoy yourself and then reflect on what you’re enjoying. It’s a masterpiece.” (One of the original stars of the show, Brandon Victor Dixon)

See for yourself – Scottsboro Boys the Musical Theatre Breaks

Wicked gets a ‘new’ Elphaba, but not really.

wickedtheatrebreaks Emma Hatton will take over the role of ‘Elphaba’ in the West End production of Wicked from 02 February 2015 at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. She will replace Jennifer DiNoia. This is not really big news as Hatton is currently standby Elphaba and has been since last year. She already had a stint as lead Elphaba in July and August before Kerry Ellis re-joined the cast.

To be honest, and at the risk of being pounced on by Kerry fans, all the Elphabas have been great. There’s not much to choose between them!

Wicked Theatre Breaks are consistently “Popular” 😉 See what I did there?

West End Rumours

Pride the Musical? Be Still My Heart!

This one is a rumour but a very believable one! It seem that a stage musical adaptation of the new hit film Pride is in development. Director Matthew Warchus is supposed to be attached to the project. There are even mutterings of a West End run.

Pride, in case you don’t know, or for those of you living under a stone, is a new hit film, based on a true story. It is about a group of gay activists who raise money to help a Welsh community of miners affected by the miners’ strike in the 1980s.

Oh, I do hope they do it!

Bend It Like Beckham the Musical rises from the Phoenix?

Phoenix Theatre for Bend it Like Beckham?

Phoenix Theatre for Bend it Like Beckham?

Bend It Like Beckham the Musical will replace Once at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End next year, according to Baz Bamigboye of the Daily Mail. He may well be right, he has a good track record for these things.

I quite like the idea myself, though I’m sad to see Once go, what do you think?

 

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Cats Theatre Breaks

Cats theatre breaks are back in the West End!

Cats - Theatre Breaks

Cats – Theatre Breaks

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s  musical CATS is returning to the West End for a strictly limited 12-week run at the London Palladium (6th Dec until 7 Feb 2015). Based, very loosely, on T. S. Eliot’s classic poems from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the show is almost legendary and is sure to be a hot Christmas ticket. Booking a theatre break is one of the best ways of being sure of seeing a show like this because the theatre break agencies have access to banks of tickets.

The Story of Cats

Cats cast

Cats cast

On one special night of the year, all the Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball. Here Old Deuteronomy, the leader of the cats, makes the Jellicle choice. He chooses which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.

OK so, the story has nothing whatsoever to do with T.S. ELLiot’s charming book of poems but really, who cares? The plot is not the most important part of this spectacular show. Many of the characters are drawn from the poems but the book has really just been used as a starting point. It is the staging, characterisation and music that will sweep you off your feet.

This is the show that gave us  one of Lloyd Webber’s greatest songs  Memory. This is Elaine Page from the film, totally wonderful but not a patch on seeing it on stage:

 

Cats creatives

The original creative team: Director Trevor Nunn, Associate Director and Choreographer Gillian Lynne, Designer John Napier and Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, are bringing CATS back to the West End this Christmas.

One thing to remember about Cats though, is that it is very much an ensemble piece. There is a female lead, of course, and in this production it will be played by new comer to the West End, Nicole Scherzinger. Best known as a recording artist she has a fine voice and seeing her on stage should be interesting.

However, like all West End musicals there is no guarantee that the ‘star’ will be playing the role in your particular performance. Don’t be disappointed. The ‘swing’ or ‘alternate’ actor will be just as good and sometimes even better! Nine times out of ten you won’t even notice!

 

Cats Theatre Breaks

Our Readers Offers site has a wide range of Cats theatre breaks available at the moment.

You currently have a wide choice of train, coach or self-drive for dates throughout the run. These will sell fast I think, so, if you want to be sure of getting exactly what you want go and check them out right now. Just click below to see what’s on offer:

Readers Offers for Cats

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