★★★★ | Falsettos At The Other Palace – “Falsettos is fast-paced, beautiful and funny!”
Where: The Other Palace
Review date: Friday 13th September 2019
About the Show:
Falsettos is a poignant look at a modern family revolving around the life of a gay man Marvin, his wife, his lover, his soon to be bar mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbian neighbours.
Originally created under the spectre of the AIDS crisis, this musical about family dynamics manages to remain buoyant even as it moves towards its heartbreaking conclusion.
Encore Rating Factor:
Falsettos is fast-paced, beautiful and funny!
Falsettos has music and lyrics by William Finn, book by James Lapine and is a sung-through musical that draws you into this modern tight-knit family. This musical was first performed on Broadway in 1992 and is now having its UK premiere at London’s The Other Palace.
Directed and choreographed by Tara Overfield-Wilkinson, the production’s simplistic staging gives audiences the chance to be drawn into each individual character’s story.
At times the production moves seamlessly from scene to scene but it seems that the nature of the set design and projection causes some restrictions. It was a shame to see some technical difficulties with the projections at this performance. Although, some of the design elements of this production could do with a few tweaks, I really enjoyed the picture frame motif that is replicated both in the artwork and on stage.
At this performance of Falsettos, the role of Mendel was performed by Matthew McKenna and the role of Jason was performed by James Williams.
James Williams, the youngest performer in this musical and making his West End debut was a joy to watch! Not only was his performance emotionally intelligent and mature, but his comic timing was great.
Falsettos has been beautifully cast by Sarah-Jane Price and for me each performer was wonderful. Their vocals glided over the complex score and harmonies with ease.
I would like to mention the chemistry between Daniel Boys as Marvin and Oliver Savile as Whizzer was a triumph. A complex storyline that in the second act is intertwined with the AIDS crisis.
The song ‘Unlikely Lovers’ truly was my standout moment for the show where Boys and Savile are joined on stage by Natasha J Barnes and Gemma Knight-Jones – a beautiful moment of stillness.
Although Falsettos has been a hot topic recently due to some of the creative decisions, I believe it is worth mentioning that this musical perfectly showcases seven wonderful performers. It is for that reason alone it is worth going along to The Other Palace to see these fantastic actors at work, sit back and enjoy their stunning vocals.