Theatre Review: A Night at the Musicals, Soho Theatre ‘The Finest Drag Stars and the Finest Show Tunes’

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I think it’s fair to say that when you get a ticket to go see a show created, hosted and performed by Jonny Woo and Le Gateau Chocolat, you know you are going to be in safe hands. And with A Night at the Musicals, you really are.

There’s no underlying message here and the show is not crafted around any revelation of personal experience; simply, this is an unabashed, unapologetic 75-minute celebration of musical theatre.  But it is wonderfully executed, and the show is a fun-fest from beginning to end.

Yes, Jonny and Gateau gives us the classics – Cabaret and Chess share the stage with Phantom of the Opera and a gloriously wicked tribute to Les Misérables – but there’s space for the new too with Let it Go being one of the evening’s highlights and a fabulously immersive nod to Beauty and the Beast.

But of course, what you take away from this production – as much as song in your heart and a spring in your step – is ongoing respect for the stagecraft of these two stars. To call them veterans of the stage would seem like casting shade on their brilliance (perhaps ‘drag royalty’ is kinder!), but their experience shows with every slice of perfectly executed comic timing and effortless interactions with what is, let’s be kind here, an excitable audience!

Again, I marvel at LGC’s voice – and what a voice. I could spend hours drifting away on those rich tones. And nothing fazes Jonny, ever. It’s not easy to work with unsuspecting members of the audience but he mingles (and instructs!) effortlessly. He really is the king of knocking down that fourth wall.

Don’t expect a huge musical theatre visual feast as well – all the budget here has gone into the wardrobe – but this is a darling of a production with divine costumes so, trust me, you do not leave feeling short-changed. Rather, you leave drenched by the talent of these two superstars of the cabaret scene and, if only for a brief moment in these miserable and depressing as hell times, joy in your heart.

Soho Theatre, London, to March 30, 2019.

Tickets from £12.

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