Posted on September 27, 2010 at 12:29 am

Mark Shenton’s full blog entry can be found here.

Something extra for the weekend…
The Stage UK, 27 September 2010

On Friday, [I went] to the Garrick for the West End concert debut of Broadway composer Jason Robert Brown, who I’ve previously seen do shows at the New Players and Purcell Room; and on Sunday, to see an all-star concert to celebrate the work of another younger American composer Scott Alan at the New Players.

It was ironic, Brown noted, that he was appearing at a West End theatre when he is yet to have a full run of a show at one, though in fact the producers behind his appearance here, Neil Eckersley and Paul Spicer, had brought The Last 5 Years to the Duchess for a week before now; but it’s even more ironic, surely, that the Alan concert should be celebrating a composer who is yet to have a show staged on either Broadway or in the West End.

Yet both Brown and Alan have big followings over here. In fact, Brown is the closest that the musical theatre has to a composer who is not only the best performer advocate for his own work, but also has a geeky rock star charisma that ideally matches the alternately acerbic and longing views of relationships his songs so beautifully articulate. He was thrillingly joined by Broadway’s Anika Noni Rose, whose unforced radiance and luminous voice reminds me of Audra McDonald – and my own pantheon of praise doesn’t get higher than that, trust me.