Archive | November, 2016

Julie sings Dick and Larry

30 Nov

An evening with Rodgers and Hart called ‘Any Old Place With You’

The cabaret room at Ye Old Rose and Crown in Walthamstow is a great venue for trying out any  new solo performance, but this particular one is already perfected enough to go straight into a larger venue.

Julie Ross is an excellent interpreter of these wonderful songs written by, in my opinion,  the most accomplished and extraordinary  songwriters of the twentieth century.

Richard Rodgers, of course, went on to work with Oscar Hammerstein in productions like Oklahoma, Carousel and South Pacific, but to my mind, these numbers cannot compare with the extreme wit, sophistication and sensitivity of Lorenz Hart.

The show included songs from all their top shows including  The Girlfriend, Pal Joey, Connecticut Yankee and Babes in Arms-  which was presented at the Rose and Crown earlier in the year. This show contains a plethora of standards, ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘The Lady is a Tramp’, ‘Where or When’, ‘I wish I were in Love Again’ all of which have  Hart’s quirky lyrics. What a genius.

And Julie is just the girl to show him off.. She is a terrific performer. Cool, relaxed, never belting just acting out Hart’s poetry and making the most of it. She is a brilliant actress and works in the way all the best actresses do making the words seem like they are being rendered for the very first time.  But she is performing thirty nine songs and each one has to have it own individual interpretation.  I must have seen ‘Ten Cents a Dance’ done dozens of times but never with the emotional impact she gives to the story.

It was with great joy I witnessed her performance of the Jessie Matthews song from Evergreen ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’  I remember it so well from a very happy time in my life. It was a tour of Cornwall and the company were living in a St Ives Cottage. There was a gramophone but we only had one record. Sinatra  doing ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ and on the other side, my ultra favourite song ‘It never Entered My Mind’ a number that has a mixture of heartbreak and gentle wistful humour that gets me in tears every time. Of course Julie’s version was no exception.

So what else is there to say about this lovely woman with the curly red  hair and canny resemblance to Bernadette Peters? She gave us lots of information about the two guys as well as singing 39 of their songs. She has the intelligence, the sense of humour and the humanity to make the very best of the very best.

This may have been a tryout – but believe me, it won’t be the last we hear of it.

A wonderful heart lifting experience.  Thanks Julie.

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reviews of A Thing Called Joe by Aline Waites

29 Nov

4.0 out of 5 starsA lovely story and a great read, and who can ask for more than that?
By Terry Eastham on 28 May 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has two things that really appealed to me. The first was the style of writing. it was easy to read and the mixture of present day and past life stories worked really well to explain the personality and spirit of Joe Tully. He isn’t your everyday literary hero, but is a normal man. The years may have aged him, his family may have deserted him ,but he is an old trooper and never loses his sense of who he is and what he wants.

The second factor is that Joe, and most of the other characters, are all involved in the theatre, which is one of my own loves. The author brings all her experience and love of the theatre into her writing and it really shows through. Her description of the play in the back room of the pub was perfect and is still as true today, where some fantastic work is produced in fringe pub theatre venues, as it was in Joe’s day.

I took this book with me on a long coach trip, and the hours flew by as I travelled in Joe’s world. By the last chapter, I really hoped the old guy had a wonderful final years before he went off to the great orchestra pit in the sky.

4.0 out of 5 starsJust Joe
By W. Russell on 11 Mar. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joe is a musician, a man who plays in the pit at West End shows, composes music, fancies his chances and makes the wrong one, living to regret it. We meet him in his old age dumped in a retirement complex by his daughter and awful son in law after he has accidentally set fire to his flat. Joe may be down, but he is not out. The books takes us back to why he got where he is, and springs some splendid surprises about where he will end up. Aline Wates paints a lovely picture of 1960s London, a vanished world, and Joe is a beguiling if infuriating character who encounters some equally entertaining and not too well behaved people along the way. Great holiday reading – if that is not an insulting thing to say. I almost read it in one go, and that was only because I ran out of time on the first attempt to read it. Could easily be an in one go book.

By Stewart Permutt on 21 July 2016

Format: Kindle Edition
Actress-producer Aline Waites` debut novel is a delightful nostalgic trip into sixties and seventies London, where theatres above pubs were just emerging, musicians `jammed` into the wee small hours in basements in tin pan alley and people loved , laughed and drank their lives away. It also shows quite movingly how time takes its toll on the central characters through a series of vignettes from past to present. An easy but satisfying read.

4.0 out of 5 starsA very entertaining read.
By Angela Mowforth on 11 Sept. 2016

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Joe is a musician and a wonderful character – stubborn – infuriating but such a charmer!
His story is a joy to read.

4.0 out of 5 starsJoe is good
By Londonjerez on 18 April 2016

Format: Paperback
A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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wikipedia

29 Nov

Aline Waites is an English actress, director, producer, reviewer and writer. She is widely known for a long spell playing Gwen, the daughter of Mrs Dale, the BBC’s famous fictional diarist in Mrs Dale’s Diary.[1]

Life and career[edit]

She was born in Kingston upon Hull,[1] was educated at Froebel House School, and studied for the theatre at Webber Douglas Academy. Before her grown-up training, she was already skilled in dancing, singing and modeling and had written a prize-winning comedy.

On graduation she won the Silver Medal and a BBC contract, and at the BBC was lucky to work with famous actors of the day, including Sir John Gielgud [2] to whose Ernest Worthing she played Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest. She played Gwen, daughter of Mrs Dale twice daily on radio in Mrs Dale’s Diary, which was later renamed The Dales.[3] Her mother was first Ellis Powell and later Jessie Matthews.[4] Latterly, single-again Gwen took increased prominence as the parental characters aged, with her choice of new husband a major cliff-hanger just before the serial ended.

As a stage actress Aline Waites did many tours and seasons, including Rep at Torquay, Bournemouth, Southampton and Bangor in Northern Ireland.[5] Favourite roles were Marilyn Monroe in The White Whore, Jane Eyre and Melanie in Gone with the Wind 2.

On television she debuted as Lottie in The Puppet Master, a live transmission in 1956. She played Nurse Joan Edwards in Emergency Ward 10,[6] and was in A Life of Bliss [7] and other drama productions.

She started Aba Daba Music Hall, the first fully professional pub theatre company, at the Mother Redcap, Camden Town, and from 1970 at the Pindar of Wakefield Theatre in Gray’s Inn Road. This venue (now the Water Rats) was purpose built for the company. In 1980 she produced a political twice nightly revue for Kennedy’s in the Kings Road called Downstairs at Kennedy’s. A new project at Underneath The Arches in Southwark, begun in 1991, continued until 1996. The music hall performances were at first traditional, but soon became well known for their radical nature.

Her life partner for many years was Robin Hunter. With him she created political pantomimes each year for the Pindar, The Arches and the Canal Cafe Theatre. Together they wrote twenty five shows. With Robin Hunter and John Gould she wrote Hit the Fan or Not the News Revue, performed at the Canal Cafe.

She wrote Stairway to Paradise, a musical biography of Marilyn Monroe, with music arranged by David Wykes, which was performed at The Arches and the Canal Cafe.[8] She has organised big charity performances at venues including The Old Vic, the Shaftesbury Theatre, the Mayfair Theatre and Charing Cross Music Hall – also shows in Scandinavia, France, Germany, Canada, and the USA.

Her company did three summer seasons in Copenhagen, and toured major cities in Denmark many times throughout the seventies.

Presentations included Gone with the Wind 2 (nineteen productions in various venues) and Road to Casablanca, which were written with Robin Hunter and David Kelsey. Fanny’s Revenge with music by Jeff Clarke and Death on the Isle – music by Antony Feldman – were Waites/Hunter musical comedies.

Non-music theatre was represented by her production of Pinter’s The Birthday Party for a tour of Denmark.

She has also written comedy sketches for the younger generation, including the Brighton Revue Company.

She co-wrote, with Robin Hunter and David Wykes, The Illustrated Victorian Songbook, Michael Joseph 1985.[9] Her novel A Thing Called Joe was published in 2016. Her next book She That Plays the Queen will follow shortly. Other writing projects, both books and plays, are in preparation.

As a director of plays, her productions include Waiting in the Wings, Noël Coward’s play set in an actress’s retirement home – with a cast of eighteen on a small stage[10] – as well as Coward’s Still Life and Red Peppers.[11] Aline Waites has been a reviewer and interviewer for Plays and Players national theatre magazine, and other journals. She has reviewed for the Ham and High (the Hampstead and Highgate Express), for Remotegoat, and elsewhere. She took a BA hons lit degree from the Open University in 2005.

She was for several years on the North West Branch Committee of Equity. She is also a member of Writers and Artists, Actors’ Benevolent Fund, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Musical Theatre Network.

How To Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective — Discover

29 Nov

“Yes, everyone should be talking about climate change, but you should also be talking about the fact that Native communities deserve to survive, because our lives are worth defending in their own right — not simply because ‘this affects us all.’”

via How To Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective — Discover

aline on wikipedia

29 Nov

She was born in Kingston upon Hull,[1] was educated at Froebel House School, and studied for the theatre at Webber Douglas Academy. Before her grown-up training, she was already skilled in dancing, singing and modeling and had written a prize-winning comedy.

On graduation she won the Silver Medal and a BBC contract, and at the BBC was lucky to work with famous actors of the day, including Sir John Gielgud [2] to whose Jack Worthing she played Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest. She played Gwen, daughter of Mrs Dale twice daily on radio in Mrs Dale’s Diary, which was later renamed The Dales.[3] Her mother was first Ellis Powell and later Jessie Matthews.[4] Latterly, single-again Gwen took increased prominence as the parental characters aged, with her choice of new husband a major cliff-hanger just before the serial ended.

As a stage actress Aline Waites did many tours and seasons, including Rep at Torquay, Bournemouth, Southampton and Bangor in Northern Ireland.[5] Favourite roles were Marilyn Monroe in The White Whore, Jane Eyre and Melanie in Gone with the Wind 2.

On television she debuted as Lottie in The Puppet Master, a live transmission in 1956. She played Nurse Joan Edwards in Emergency Ward 10,[6] and was in A Life of Bliss [7] and other drama productions.

She started Aba Daba Music Hall, the first fully professional pub theatre company, at the Mother Redcap, Camden Town, and from 1970 at the Pindar of Wakefield Theatre in Gray’s Inn Road. This venue (now the Water Rats) was purpose built for the company. In 1980 she produced a political twice nightly revue for Kennedy’s in the Kings Road called Downstairs at Kennedy’s. A new project at Underneath The Arches in Southwark, begun in 1991, continued until 1996. The music hall performances were at first traditional, but soon became well known for their radical nature.

Her life partner for many years was Robin Hunter. With him she created political pantomimes each year for the Pindar, The Arches and the Canal Cafe Theatre. Together they wrote twenty five shows. With Robin Hunter and John Gould she wrote Hit the Fan or Not the News Revue, performed at the Canal Cafe.

She wrote Stairway to Paradise, a musical biography of Marilyn Monroe, with music arranged by David Wykes, which was performed at The Arches and the Canal Cafe.[8] She has organised big charity performances at venues including The Old Vic, the Shaftesbury Theatre, the Mayfair Theatre and Charing Cross Music Hall – also shows in Scandinavia, France, Germany, Canada, and the USA.

Her company did three summer seasons in Copenhagen, and toured major cities in Denmark many times throughout the seventies.

Presentations included Gone with the Wind 2 (nineteen productions in various venues) and Road to Casablanca, which were written with Robin Hunter and David Kelsey. Fanny’s Revenge with music by Jeff Clarke and Death on the Isle – music by Antony Feldman – were Waites/Hunter musical comedies.

Non-music theatre was represented by her production of Pinter’s The Birthday Party for a tour of Denmark.

She has also written comedy sketches for the younger generation, including the Brighton Revue Company.

She co-wrote, with Robin Hunter and David Wykes, The Illustrated Victorian Songbook, Michael Joseph 1985.[9] Her novel A Thing Called Joe was published in 2016. Her next book She That Plays the Queen will follow shortly. Other writing projects, both books and plays, are in preparation.

As a director of plays, her productions include Waiting in the Wings, Noël Coward’s play set in an actress’s retirement home – with a cast of eighteen on a small stage[10] – as well as Coward’s Still Life and Red Peppers.[11] Aline Waites has been a reviewer and interviewer for Plays and Players national theatre magazine, and other journals. She now reviews for the Ham and High (the Hampstead and Highgate Express), for Remotegoat, and elsewhere. She took a BA hons lit degree from the Open University in 2005.

She was for several years on the North West Branch Committee of Equity. She is also a member of Writers and Artists, Actors’ Benevolent Fund, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Musical Theatre Network.

disaster

21 Nov
disaster

DISASTER
by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick

at Charing Cross Theatre

I just wish there were more stars to award a show. This is worth at least seven and a half. It was only on for two performances and though the director gave them all scripts to read from, the actors – mostly West End feature players – insisted on learning the roles and performing them with all props and costumes etc. The stage staff also joined in, doing the lighting, the costumes etc. all for nothing.
This was a charity show in aid of MAD – Make a Difference and it is mostly to raise funds for victims of Aids or HIV so it was a good cause, but it was not only the cause that made the actors and staff so keen to work on the show. It is because it is simply bloody brilliant.
It is a spoof on disaster movies and it is hysterically funny from beginning to end. The cast is amazing. They play it as if they have been properly rehearsed, choreographed and directed for weeks. Certainly they have been rehearsing, but Sunday afternoon was the first time they had actually done it together.
it
Most especially Jennifer Simard who plays the – nearly guitar playing – nun called Sister throughout. Sister is not only obsessed with gambling but so madly in love with a one armed bandits that she embraces them like a lover. She played the role on the Broadway version and made the trip over here just to perform it again.

Simon Lipkin who is practically Mr West End these days plays the ridiculous nasty villain, especially funny when approached by a blind girl, and pretends not to see her. She has been blinded by the Earthquake, only one of the many disasters that befall this helpless cast. They start on a Shipboard Casino and encounter Shipwreck, Volcano, Earthquake, tidal wave, Piranha fish and sharks. It’s a wonder any of them survive – well most of them do. Sally Ann Triplett plays Shirley a woman who is dying of some unknown disease that produces crazy physical symptoms one by one. She eventually expires doing a mad tap dance in order to save the hero and heroine from a tidal wave – but how can a tap dance…? don’t ask!

When I first saw Seth doing his Deconstructing Broadway show I thought maybe we just had the same sense of humour. Judging from the audience response to DISASTER, everyone has the same funny bone.

I – and all the other people who witnessed these shows hope desperately that it will be restaged here at our dear little Charing Cross Theatre which fits it so admirably.

reviews of A Thing Called Joe

18 Nov

4.0 out of 5 starsA lovely story and a great read, and who can ask for more than that?

By Terry Eastham on 28 May 2016

 

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

This book has two things that really appealed to me. The first was the style of writing. it was easy to read and the mixture of present day and past life stories worked really well to explain the personality and spirit of Joe Tully. He isn’t your everyday literary hero, but is a normal man. The years may have aged him, his family may have deserted him ,but he is an old trooper and never loses his sense of who he is and what he wants. The second factor is that Joe, and most of the other characters, are all involved in the theatre, which is one of my own loves. The author brings all her experience and love of the theatre into her writing and it really shows through. Her description of the play in the back room of the pub was perfect and is still as true today, where some fantastic work is produced in fringe pub theatre venues, as it was in Joe’s day. I took this book with me on a long coach trip, and the hours flew by as I travelled in Joe’s world. By the last chapter, I really hoped the old guy had a wonderful final years before he went off to the great orchestra pit in the sky.

 

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4.0 out of 5 starsJust Joe

By W. Russell on 11 Mar. 2016

 

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Joe is a musician, a man who plays in the pit at West End shows, composes music, fancies his chances and makes the wrong one, living to regret it. We meet him in his old age dumped in a retirement complex by his daughter and awful son in law after he has accidentally set fire to his flat. Joe may be down, but he is not out. The books takes us back to why he got where he is, and springs some splendid surprises about where he will end up. Aline Wates paints a lovely picture of 1960s London, a vanished world, and Joe is a beguiling if infuriating character who encounters some equally entertaining and not too well behaved people along the way. Great holiday reading – if that is not an insulting thing to say. I almost read it in one go, and that was only because I ran out of time on the first attempt to read it. Could easily be an in one go book.

 

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4.0 out of 5 starsmusicians `jammed` into the wee small hours in basements in tin pan alley and people loved, laughed and drank their lives away

By Stewart Permutt on 21 July 2016

 

Format: Kindle Edition

Actress-producer Aline Waites` debut novel is a delightful nostalgic trip into sixties and seventies London, where theatres above pubs were just emerging, musicians `jammed` into the wee small hours in basements in tin pan alley and people loved , laughed and drank their lives away. It also shows quite movingly how time takes its toll on the central characters through a series of vignettes from past to present. An easy but satisfying read.

 

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4.0 out of 5 starsA very entertaining read.

By Angela Mowforth on 11 Sept. 2016

 

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Joe is a musician and a wonderful character – stubborn – infuriating but such a charmer! His story is a joy to read.

 

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4.0 out of 5 starsJoe is good

By Londonjerez on 18 April 2016

 

Format: Paperback

A thoroughly enjoyable read.

 

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