Having had successful runs of his previous musicals including Parade, Songs For A New World, 13 & The Last Five Years, it was certainly time for another Jason Robert Brown musical to make it’s debut in London. Honeymoon in Vegas is based on the 1992 film by Andrew Bergman about a man named Jack who believes his mother cursed him to never get married when she died. As a result, Jack becomes feared of commitment which ends up putting a strain on his relationship with his partner Betsy. So they decide to elope over the weekend in Las Vegas and cross wires with a basic rate gangster called Tommy Korman.
Starring Samantha Barks and Arthur Darvill as Betsy and Jack, this production was a one night only concert hosted by and beautifully orchestrated by the London Musical Theatre Orchestra. The LMTO frequently host concert productions having had A Christmas Carol last year and Candide as their next production. However, this was the first production where they had their first guest conductor. Mr. Jason Robert Brown himself!
The music is extremely vibrant, spectacular and larger than life, everything you imagine Las Vegas to be. The score had quite a swing edge to it which was perfectly tailored to Arthur Darvill & Samantha Barks’ incredible vocals. I had previously seen Arthur in Once and I had no idea how much swing his voice had in it, particularly in the opening song “I Love Betsy”. Samantha Barks is one of the best vocalists we have in the West End and her incredible voice went hand in hand with the gorgeous score, particularly in songs such as “Anywhere But Here” & “Betsy’s Getting Married”. There’s also fantastic support from Maisey Bawden, Simon Lipkin and an incredible chorus made up of performers from across the West End, who each had their stand out moments.
The show was unbelievable amounts of fun. The fantastic orchestra transported the entire audience from New York to Las Vegas to Hawaii in the space of 2 and a half hours. The show is absolutely hilarious and definitely romantic comedy material. I hope this concert production isn’t the last we see of Jack and Betsy on this side of the pond. Even better if we had this cast too.
For more information on the London Musical Theatre Orchestra visit http://www.lmto.org
Until next time,