The Royal Albert Hall is just one of those London venues that is able to add a sprinkling of glitter and magic to any show that is lucky enough to grace the stage.
As soon as the audience enter the room there is an air of excitement and the grand venue was certainly the perfect location for Disney’s Broadway Hits to make its West End debut.
Performing for one night only, John Barrowman hosted the evening as stars of both the West End and Broadway performed some of the biggest hits from stage performances of Disney classics.
Ashley Brown, Merle Danridge, Alton Fitzgerald White, Scarlett Strallen and Josh Strickland all united on stage to give lucky audience members the night of their lives as they gave heartfelt and pitch-perfect renditions of the much-loved songs.
The carefully selected set list including tracks that every member of the audience would know, including The Lion King’s ‘Hakuna Matata’, Mary Poppins’ ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, and The Little Mermaid’s ‘Part Of Your World’, as well as songs that were written especially for the stage and even songs from Disney shows that never made it to the big screen at all.
Although the audience were much less familiar with the likes of Aida and Newsies, the show-stopping performances were enough to ensure that everybody was still having fun, with Josh’s rendition of ‘My Strongest Suit’ from Aida being a particular highlight.
We were also lucky enough to be treated to a sneak peek of ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen, which is due to make its Broadway debut in 2018, and the night was rounded off by the current West End cast of Aladdin taking to the stage to sing their hearts out.
Trevor Dion Nicholas has won prestigious critical acclaim for his stage performance of the Genie and was honoured with closing the night with ‘Friend Like Me’, complete with dancers, pyrotechnics, and a whole lot of fun – making it pretty much a given that everybody will be singing and dancing as they made their way home.
Another surprise came courtesy of living legend Alan Menken, who was welcomed to the stage with cheers from the stunned crowd before he sat by the piano and performed ‘Proud Of Your Boy’ from Aladdin – a much-loved song that was cut from the film version but made a triumphant return to the stage when the show hit Broadway.
Menken has won copious awards for his work with Disney, penning some of the brand’s biggest hits, so it’s no surprise that his performance won one of many standing ovation’s from the audience that night.
The entire show was backed by the impeccable 74-piece BBC Concert Orchestra, which was led by conductor Keith Lockhart, and supported by a live choir, ensuring that the night was spectacular in every possible way.
One thing’s for sure: Disney will never lose its magic.