I waited in anticipation for An Evening of Movies and Musicals at St David's Hall in Cardiff. I was especially looking forward to the concert especially with the appealing line up of my two favourite phantoms, John Owen Jones and Peter Karrie. I have seen them a combination of 21 times as Phantom in my favourite musical. Soon as I heard they were in the line up I immediately booked!
I met up with some friends just before the concert. It's nice meeting up with like minded friends who share my favourite musicals and performers such as Pat, Matthew, Keiko and her friend.
Pat and I outside St David's Hall, Cardiff, before the concert!
Matthew, Pat, Keiko and her friend at St David's Hall, Cardiff, before the concert!
Waiting for the concert!
The orchestra opened up the concert with hits from some of the movie soundtracks and also at interludes during the performance and introduced the second part after the interval. The music got us in the mood for what is to come for the evening.
The presenter, who was a substitute, introduced Fiona Kelly, a Scottish artist, who performed in a similar concert last year in Edinburgh. She sang some hits from a variety of musicals. There were impressive acts from the Siren Sisters, Live and Swing In and South Wales Gay Men's Chorus who performed a variety of movies and musicals hits. The choir was a wonderful ensemble throughout. They sang in unison when singing hits from the musicals, Evita and Wicked.
A couple of schools including Stagecoach were invited on stage. They were exceptional especially the younger performers. I specially enjoyed the act one of the schools with songs sung from 'A Little Shop of Horrors',
As expected, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Peter Karrie on stage again. I have fond memories seeing him as Phantom in Bradford and Manchester on the Phantom's Millennium Tour back in 2000. He still is one of my favourite Phantoms and it was such a pleasure to hear him sing once more! He sang songs from 'Yentil' and in the second part of the concert he sang Jekyll and Hyde's 'This is the Moment'.
I saw Ruthie Henshall in Chicago in 1998 soon as the show opened in the West End. I have seen Chicago once since then which was in Bradford last year. I enjoyed 'All that Jazz' which was nicely choreographed with some dancers. Later on, I was awed with her Les Miserables ' I dreamed a dream'.
I was very impressed with Nathan James, a contestant on the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Tour televised auditions. I thoroughly enjoyed his act when he sang 'Gethsemane' and I think he would be a great Jesus in the Arena Tour.
The highlight of the concert was undoubtedly was John Owen Jones! Me and many supporters gave him a very warm,if not hot, welcome when he came on stage! He sang amazingly and unforgettably Phantom's 'Music of the Night'. I was awed with it and felt I went in heaven and stayed there for the duration of the song! It was so emotive and subtly so powerful that you couldn't hear a pin drop in the audience during the song! Hearing 'Music of the Night' reminded me how much I miss him as Phantom and is a joint favourite one after seeing him 14 times in the role.
In the second part of the concert, he sang 'Thunderball' following the soundtrack from James Bond by the orchestra in introduction to the second part. I can't think of a better singer singing 'Thunderball' than John himself. He sings it with so much power and conviction. Later on in the concert, he sang a beautiful duet with Dafydd Christopher Gape. They sang 'I Don't Remember You; Sometimes A Day Goes By (And The World Goes Round)' and it was so beautiful. Dafydd is very talented and I'm sure I'll see him either on a musical or opera stage in the not too distant future.
John sang 'Bring Me Home' and it made me feel sad that I never had seen him as Valjean live in Les Miserables but still I was awed as ever! We were treated to a great encore and finale when all the artists had sung 'One More Day' which was received well by the audience. This also summed up what an incredible concert it was that evening. It was worth the long journey to be there in person.
After the show we were able to have our programmes/memorabilia signed by the star artists despite the farcical crowd control/evacuation attempts. I was honoured to have a photo taken with John and Peter. It was also a pleasure to meet Nathan James and Ruthie Henshall. With Ruthie I was going down to Memory Lane to 1998 when I last saw her live.
Me with Peter Karrie and John Owen Jones
There was some sort of after show party going on as the bar was still open. So it was nice to have a drink and catch up with everyone including Jacqui and her family and Lindsey and Jamie. We even met some of John Owen Jones's family behind before and after the show!
An unbeatable evening! With Jamie, Lindsey, me and Pat