Momentous Musicals

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Following its highly successful, sell-out première at the New Wimbledon Theatre in July 2012, this brand new production of the musical showcase ‘Momentous Musicals’ now arrives at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, for the final stop on its short new four-date UK Tour.

The production once again sees headliner’s Gareth Gates and Rachael Wooding reprising their roles from the original 2012 production, alongside a new company featuring special guest stars John Owen-Jones and Ashleigh Gray, as well as an ensemble of rising musical theatre talent; this time with Owen-Jones taking up the role of Master of Ceremonies and hosting the evening with a fine blend of charisma, confidence and entertaining banter, whilst demonstrating a rarely seen comic flair.

The multi-award-winning Welsh tenor, John Owen-Jones, the West End’s longest running Phantom in ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’ (with nearly 2,000 performances in the role) and the only British actor ever to have played the role of Jean Valjean in both the West End and Broadway productions of ‘Les Miserables’, as well as in the recent 25th Anniversary tours of both shows, once again proves himself as one of the finest male performers and interpreters in musical theatre, with stunning renditions of ‘Till I Hear You Sing’ from Lloyd Webber’s ‘Love Never Dies’, the highly-anticipated ‘Bring Him Home’ from ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘What Kind of a Fool Am I?’ from Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s 161 musical ‘Stop the World – I Want to Get Off’.

Former ‘Wicked’ star Ashleigh Gray also proves herself as one of musical theatre’s finest and most accomplished mezzo-soprano’s with stirring renditions of Wicked’s ‘The Wizard and I’ (giving the audience a welcome glimpse of her spine-tingling performance as Elphaba), Funny Girl’s ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ and the demanding duet ‘Let Me Be Your Star’ from hit TV show ‘Smash’, alongside Rachael Wooding.

Series one ‘Pop Idol’ runner-up, and former Les Misérables, Legally Blonde and Boogie Nights cast member, Gareth Gates, and Hairspray, Evita and We Will Rock You alumna, Rachael Wooding, both belt out fine performances of classic and recent musical theatre favourites, including Miss Saigon’s ‘Why, God Why?’ (Gates), Legally Blonde’s ‘So Much Better’  (Wooding), and Wicked’s moving duet ‘For Good’ (Gates and Wooding) (despite some fairly inexcusable dropped lyrics), however the evening undeniably belongs to the powerhouse pairing of Owen-Jones and Gray, who, in all honesty, are not utilised as much as they should be.

Musical director and show pianist, George Dyer, heads the impressive live band, however, some persistent sound issues did ultimately affect the quality of the music, with parts sounding unbalanced and slightly distorted.

With a wide array of musical material, comprising both original and new arrangements of classic show tunes, Momentous Musical proves a rewarding and high entertaining production, and is undoubtedly one of the strongest musical compilation shows of recent times.

Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes (approx.), including one 20-minute interval.

Momentous Musicals is produced by Speckulation Entertainment.

Visit Speckulation Entertainment for more information on upcoming productions and future tour dates.

A live cast recording of last year’s production is now available to buy and download and stars, Gareth Gates, Rachael Wooding, Jonathan Ansell, Daniel Boys and Emma Williams: