Lily Casson

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Lily Casson

Singer & Lover of Musicals

2000s

As the theatre world entered a new millennium, nobody was quite sure what the future would hold for the musical. However, despite the uncertainty of the times, the musical had a number of new incarnations throughout the decade. The musical comedy made a comeback with hits such as Spamalot and The Producers setting the world alight with its hilarious songs. While Stephen Schwartz's mega hit, Wicked, entranced audiences with its story of friendship and magic. It was also the beginning of the jukebox musical - telling new stories through the songs hits of popular bands - with Mamma Mia! based on the music of ABBA, and Jersey Boys, inspired by the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

NEWSIES

WICKED

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

PERSEPHONE

 

THE LOWDOWN

Music & lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Book by Winnie Holzman

Based on  Gregory Maguire's novel, Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Premiered at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway on 30th October 2003

 

My Favourite Cast (Original Broadway Cast)

Elphaba : Idina Menzel

Glinda : Kristen Chenoweth

Fiyero : Norbert Leo Butz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz : Joel Grey

Madame Morrible : Carole Shelley

Nessarose : Michelle Federer

Boq : Christopher Fitzgerald

Doctor Dillamond : William Youmans

 

THE LOWDOWN

Music & lyrics by David Yazbek

Book by Jeffrey Lane

Based on the 1988 film, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Debuted at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway in March 2005

 

My Favourite Cast (Original West End Cast 2014)

Lawrence Jameson : Robert Lindsay

Freddy Benson : Rufus Hound

Christine Colgate : Katherine Kingsley

Muriel Eubanks : Samantha Bond

Inspector Andre Thibault : John Marquez

Jolene Oakes :  Lizzy Connolly

 

THE LOWDOWN

Music by Alan Menken

Lyrics by Jack Feldman

Book by Harvey Fierstein

Based on the true story of the Newsboys Strike in 1899

Debuted at the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway on 29th March 2012

 

My Favourite Cast (Original Broadway Cast)

Jack Kelly : Jeremy Jordan

Joseph Pulitzer : John Dosset

Katherine Plumber : Kara Lindsay

Medda Larkin : Capathia Jenkins

Davey : Ben Fankhauser

Crutchie : Andrew Keenan-Bolger

and a cast of Newsies

 

 

 

THE LOWDOWN

Music by Sue Casson

Words by Simon Rae

Based on the Greek Myth of Persephone

Premiered at Grimebourne

 

 

THE SHOW & SHOW HISTORY

 

A global musical phenomenon, Wicked is based on the Gregory Maguire novel, Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, adapted as a musical by genius of the genre, Stephen Schwartz. A prequel to the Wizard of Oz, Wicked explores the relationship between Glinda, the Good Witch of the East, and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the Land of Oz before Dorothy arrives. The show follows their friendship from the very beginning when they become roommates to their final goodbye. It is a beautiful insight into the ups and downs of friendship but also digs deep into what good and evil really means and how it affects the people and the world around us.

 

Premiered on Broadway in 2003, starring Idina Menzel as Elphaba and Kristen Chenoweth as Glinda, Wicked is one of the longest running musicals on Broadway and the West End to date, as audiences are entranced by its tale of magic and friendship.

THE SHOW & SHOW HISTORY

 

Based on the real life story of the Newsboys strike of 1899, Newsies follows the journey of Jack Kelly, a leader of a group of young destitute newspaper sellers 'newsies'. They take on the establishment when the owner of the newspaper they are selling makes life more difficult for them by raising the price of the paper whilst lining their own pockets. The newsies take action to let the world know that although they are young and hidden from society, their voice matters.

 

Told through Alan Menken's heart stopping songs and elaborate dance numbers, Newsies is a story that resonates with today's society and shows everyone that the world can be changed by working together. Starring Jeremy Jorden as Jack Kelly and Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber, the show opened on Broadway in 2012 before touring all over the USA.  More recently, the show has been filmed for general release in cinemas around the world so new audiences can enjoy its inspirational message.

THE SHOW & SHOW HISTORY

Based on a Greek myth, Persephone describes how the seasons may have come into being. One day, when the goddess Persephone, the beautiful daughter of Zeus and Demeter, is picking flowers in broad daylight, she is abducted by her evil uncle, Hades, god of the underworld. Obsessed by her beauty, Hades takes her to his kingdom in the Underworld by force and holds her captive. Demeter, her mother and goddess of the harvest, discovers what Hades has done and in her anger takes her power away from the earth so it lies barren. In the Underworld, Persephone is tempted by a pomegranate seed that seals her fate in that she is no longer free to live above the earth, as she always has. Her father, Zeus, decrees that although Persephone must now spend half the year in the Underworld, to appease Demeter and make the earth fertile again, she can also spend half the year as she has always lived. And so the seasons are born.

 

A collaboration between poet, Simon Rae, and singer-songwriter Sue Casson, Persephone is a masque in the making which premiered at Grimeborne a few years ago. Soon to be staged again, I think that Persephone is a character that would inspire many with her determination and care of the world around us.

WHY I HEART IT

 

Wicked has made a very significant 'handprint on my heart' to quote one of its most famous songs, For Good.  The music is electric and awe-inspiring which brings excitement to the dullest of car journeys and the show is a world in itself, enveloping the theatres the show inhabits with glitter and green. I was lucky enough to see the West End production in 2015 and was blown away by the spectacle as well as the beautifully crafted story. It is a true modern classic and a musical I couldn't live without.  

THE SHOW & SHOW HISTORY

 

Based on the 1988 film of the same name,  Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical comedy that follows the exploits of two competitive con men in Beaumont-sur-Mer on the French Riviera. Established con artist Lawrence Jameson's world is thrown into turmoil when he meets Freddy Benson, the new con man on the block. They challenge each other to con a new American heiress, Christine Colgate, to see who is the best at their game by taking on new identities and trying to win her affection. But is Christine all that she appears to be or are they being conned themselves?

 

Told through David Yazbek's hilarious and touching songs, such as 'Give them what they want' and 'Nothing is too wonderful to be true,' it is a story of how the younger generation can learn from their older counterparts and how no one is ever too hardened to fall in love. It opened in San Diego in 2004 before transferring to Broadway in March 2005 at the Imperial Theatre with John Lithgow as Lawrence and Norbert Leo Butz as Freddy. It was brought to the West End in 2014 to the Savoy Theatre with Robert Lindsay as Lawrence and Rufus Hound as Freddy and after a successful run, went on to tour the UK.  

WHY I HEART IT

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is one of my favourite stage shows I have ever seen as I saw it a grand total of 4 times while it was on at the Savoy Theatre in the West End! From the hilarious songs to the actors who brought it to life, it gave me so much pleasure and happiness to spend time in Beaumont-Sur-Mer.

WHY I HEART IT

I first became aware of Newsies via YouTube. The cast created a vlog series of all of the happenings that took place backstage which immersed me in their world. Hooked by the cast and the snippets of the cast recording I heard through the vlogs, I bought my own copy and fell in love with the show and score. Although I have never had a chance to see the show, I hope it will be staged again so I can experience the magic for myself.

WHY I HEART IT

The story of Persephone is one that intrigues me as it shows a strong willed woman in the clutches of an odious man but not taking no for an answer. Although it is yet to be staged, the music that has been written so far tells the story seamlessly and makes clear how the myth still relates to today's throwaway society. Caring for and about the world is one of the messages of Persephone and will be inspirational for audiences in the future.

SONG IN CONTEXT

 

For Good is sung at the very of the end of the show. Having followed the ups and downs of their friendship, Glinda and Elphaba have an opportunity to say the things they never said, before they part never to meet again. It is an emotional end to a terrific show and often leaves me in tears as it reminds me of all the people who have made my life what it is and how much they matter to me.  

SONG IN CONTEXT

Christine Colgate sings 'Here I am' as she arrives at her hotel where by chance Lawrence and Freddy are staying. She makes quite an impact, bringing her clumsy and over the top ways to the relative calm of the hotel lobby. While she sings it, Lawrence and Freddy decide to choose her as the target to con for as much money as they can to make her fall in love them. It gives us a chance to get to know her before the story continues.

SONG IN CONTEXT

'Watch what happens' is sung by Katherine Plumber, the newspaper owner's daughter, when she is employed to cover the 'newsies' strike by her father. Although she is frustrated to have been given a job no one else wants, she decides to use it to her advantage to bring the newsies' plight to the attention of the public, and bring about the change she wants to see in the world.

SONG IN CONTEXT

‘Even though I cannot die' is sung by Persephone when she realises that she is stuck as a captive in the Underworld, far from the airy world she lives in. Although she is an immortal goddess, she knows that a part of her would die, even though she never could, if she couldn’t escape the darkness of the Underworld and Hades’ clutches.

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