The Musical Marathon was organised by Paul Taylor-Mills and cast by Will Burton at the King’s Cross Theatre bringing together West End stars for a concert to raise funds for Orchid Cancer Appeal, a charity helping to fight male cancer.
Paul Taylor-Mills is an acclaimed producer who has recently won three Olivier awards and he will be producing the new season of shows at the St James Theatre, recently acquired by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Taylor-Mills presented the show, along with Ben Hewis, Deputy Editor of What’s On Stage, and Phil Cornwall was the musical director.
The evening was opened by Kim Criswell (Annie Get Your Gun, Into The Woods, Carrie) singing ‘Don’t Rain on my Parade’ from Funny Girl, and what an opening it was! Criswell demonstrated outstanding vocal ability, as perhaps would be expected from her esteemed theatre credits, but still awe-inspiring! She later performed a gorgeous duet with Evelyn Hoskins (Carrie, Sound of Music (TV), Casualty (TV)) from last year’s revival of Carrie the Musical, singing ‘Eve Was Weak’. Hoskins also performed the song ‘Carrie’ from this musical.
Liam Doyle (Wicked, Ghost, West Side Story) sang James Bay’s ‘Running’, delivering this beautiful love song very tenderly.
Jodie Steele (Dick Whittington and His Cat, Legally Blonde, Jesus Christ Superstar), currently starring in The War of the Worlds at the Dominion Theatre, performed ‘Runnin’ by Beyoncé and ‘Heart Shape Wreckage’ with Michael Vinsen (Book of Mormon, Legally Blonde, Grease), currently starring in Kinky Boots. Both sets were beautifully delivered and Steele has a sensational voice. Vinsen dueted with Ross William Wild (The Witches of Eastwick, We Will Rock You, Grease) singing ‘Bare’ from the musical in which they starred at the Greenwich and Union Theatres.
Nathan Amzi (Rock of Ages, Urinetown, In The Heights), soon to be starring in Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre, performed AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ which was interestingly accompanied by a piano, with no guitars in sight. Amzi has a spectacular rock voice and later sang the chorus of Meatloaf’s ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ Shirley Bassey style! Amzi also sang the Motown song ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ with In The Heights star Christine Allado, which again was a huge crowd-pleaser and really powerful performance.
Some of the cast of In the Heights, showing at the King’s Cross Theatre, joined the show. Gabriella Garcia (Hot Stuff, Sweet Charity, Ghost) and Sarah Naudi (In The Heights, Porn – the Musical) performed ‘Baby Dream Your Dream’ and Christine Allado (Beyond the Fence, Here Lies Love, From Here To Eternity), who recently joined the cast as Vanessa, and Michael Cortez (Ghost, Rent, Daddy Cool) sang the song ‘Champagne’ from In The Heights.
Zizi Strallen (Rock of Ages, Cats, Carman), currently on UK tour with Mary Poppins playing the title part, performed Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ showcasing her talents as an amazing vocalist and talented pianist.
Emma Kingston (In The Heights, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Grease), currently in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre, sang ‘Listen’, the second Beyoncé song of the night, with incredible power and emotion. It is a very touching song and Kingston’s performance certainly delivered.
Jodie Jacobs (Rock of Ages, Carrie, Legally Blonde) closed the show with ‘My Way’. There were many, many amazing moments throughout the concert but this was the perfect closer to the evening from a spectacular singer with so much power and depth as well as a crazy sense of humour. It was a breath-taking performance and a very fitting end to a wonderful evening.
Overall, the concert was an amazing display of wonderful talent, raising money for a very worthy cause. Paul Taylor-Mills will very shortly be running the London Marathon and we wish him the very best of luck and thank him for organising such a fantastic evening!