I got a glimpse of the magic Ben possesses and man it is still there.
If you have been following this page for a while you may know that I have four singers who I am absolutely in love with. One of those is Ben Forster. Ben has been on the musical’s scene for a while but he came into the public eye when he won superstar on ITV. After all this time he has finally held his own personal show. And I was lucky enough to be able to attend it.
I had to record my notes for this show because I was so overwhelmed by happiness, I had to get the feeling recorded or else I would forget as life tends to get in the way. So, I looked like a right weirdo getting this all down. Ben is a delightful human being. He’s so funny and lovely. I literally can’t deal with how good the show was. This man just has more charisma than any other performer I have met that he just makes everyone feel at ease with his presence.
The show was sponsored by the Alpha Club which enabled him to get him own live orchestra to perform alongside. This only made the show even better because for a voice like Bens, he needs that musical accompaniment to do his voice the justice it deserves. This man literally bounced around the stage with the raptured audience making everyone laugh and cry, himself included. I seriously hope that writing this will do Ben justice.
I’m not going to spend much time talking about act one because I didn’t know so many of the songs and didn’t connect as much as I did in the second act. But the power to that man’s voice is beyond anything and I think when you don’t see something for a while you kind of forget how special it was to you. As soon as Ben was on stage singing a song from super star, I knew immediately why I loved him. He talked about his journey and experiences which lead him to get to his career through a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck here and there. He also sang a female song and adapted it to his version. I’m sorry I didn’t write down the names and I really don’t remember because the second act is so engrained in my mind.
So, onto the second act. Ben walked out in a pair of fish nets and black stilettos singing sweet transvestite from Rocky horror. He played Brad in Rocky Horror live and the David Bedella who played Frank -N-Furter played the transvestite. That man confused my sexuality but that is what Rocky Horror was written to do. Ben would have been awesome. Not to mention his legs are amazing, I need to know his workout routine. When Ben sang sweet transvestite, I caught a glimpse of the chemistry which hooked me on Phantom. I saw the magic, its still there and that man has it. I haven’t had this with any other actor before. It’s hard to describe but its like he looks into your sole and takes you into the story. I think I realised that it is Bens fault that I am so obsessed with musicals. For an actor to have the power to do that to his audience there must be something special about him. His message is clear be yourself, all the interesting people in the world are the weirdos.
As I am listening to the recording of my thoughts. The excitement in saying out loud that Ben, Ramin, Carrie and Celinde are going to coming together as a musical super group called the cardinals. I literally said this was my musical wet dream which is a pretty accurate way how to describe this group. These are four of my favourite singers. I knew when they were announced as guests that I had to go down and watch this show but they have blown my mind and for the full low down go and look at the cardinal’s post.
Ramin remained on stage for been to do a rendition of Bring him home with Ramin. I have never pictured Ben as Jean Valjean but I could see it when he was duetting with Ramin. Ramin has such stage presence with this song and there is nothing more beautiful than the combination of both these men’s voices. This is an incredibly emotional song and was the start of the water works for me during this performance. I’m getting emotional just writing about it.
To finish up Ben invited Celinde back on to the stage who had changed into this incredible red dress. Ben talked about how he spent two happy years at Phantom which he got as a surprise casting by Andrew Lloyd Webber. They sang Phantom of the Opera together which I have not heard for a wee while since they finished at her majesty’s theatre. I got really upset at this point but I got annoyed at myself because my vision became really blurry through tears and I didn’t want to not be able to record the moment because I was crying. The reason why it got to me was because these two are my Phantom and Christine and always will be. I love the show but it has not been the same for me since they left. Like bloody hell they own those songs. I think the reason I might be so upset was because I might not ever get to see them perform that number again together live. It’s not the same watching it on YouTube as it is live.
The final number was music of the night. That was the perfect song to finish his set on because out can tell how much this number means to him. He absolute killed it and I think it was his best rendition yet. He and Celinde have the best chemistry and I WISH they had some more performances coming up.
Afterwards he came out to stage door despite his busy schedule. Even took a minute for the photo and a wee chat and I hope to god one day he reads this review. My message for him after watching this show is just keep doing what your doing, your amazing and going to do some great things. I hope beyond the stars you have enjoyed this review. I love you guys; you make life so much happier for me and other people. Keep it up, make people happy that is all that matters, be yourself. This is from someone who is probably right now sitting in the middle of the fields, covered in bugs humming the tunes to keep her sane keep it up. I would love to meet you one day and that is what you want from a show. Speaking my truth is all I can do and all you can do is go and find out who this man is and I hope you fall in love with him and his work like I have done!
PS the pitcure of me and carrie is awful as my camera wasnt working and i was burnt AF but it’s priceless.
June was a month of symphonies in the Park- otherwise known as the POPS. Outside and a Picnic. One of which was Broadway, my favorite:. I don’t have a top favorite singer/singers.
Being a musical theatre fanatic in the United States- and in Charlotte, NC- tours are my way to go. Well, here’s the things- never have seen an actor or actress in more than one lead role. Not once- except for at Charlotte’s community college.
I think that’s the main difference between Bway and the West end that you get to know actors more intimately because there are less roles. We have tours but they don’t come as far north as often as I wish they would. Probs a couple a year. I prefer going to london or New york for them. I can’t afford new york though.
Les Mis tour is the only version of the show available in the US at the moment which I think is a shame. The broadway shows have much shorter runs than the west end.
It has been running on tour since 2017. Seen it with my school in Greenville. Now its 2019- its coming back to Charlotte, my hometown- hoping to see it then, that will make it my 6th time. Yes, I am obsessed with Les Mis.
Crazy- I have seen Les Mis every other year. Different theater and different city. 2013 (Halton Theater- Charlotte), July 2015 (Queen’s Theater- London), and 2017 (Peace Center- Greenville). There have been other coincidences involved when it came to when I saw the stage show.
I’ve only seen it twice but i have the theatre version coming up in the fall. Who played eponine and fantine for you in london
I will bring up my entire cast. July 30th, 2015.
Adam Bayjou (Jean Valjean)
Jeremy Secomb (Javert)
Rachelle Ann Go (Fantine)
Zoe Doano (Cosette)
Rob Hochen (Marius)
Carrie Hope Fletcher (Eponine)
Bradley Jaden (Enjolras)
Katy Secombe (Madame Thenardier)
Phil Daniels (Monsieur Thenardier)
My West End Cast- there was one understudy. They were my 4th cast- I went from film to Central Piedmont Community College to film of the 25th Anniversary Concert then you have the West End.
Here’s what I do with any production or cast after the West End cast: I don’t compare.
I think that was my cast for the second time i saw Les Mis. Rachel was amazing and so was Zoe.
I don’t always think its that easy or simple when you have really connected with actors in some rolls or were lead to them by a certain person. I’m always open to new actors in the role but if the magic isn’t there then its not always the same.
I remember this happening- It was November 5th, 2017. Guess what happened- understudy again, this time for Eponine (I remember thinking didn’t this just happen). So literally two Les Mis casts in a row, I ended up with an understudy (well, for two different characters). Coincidence it seemed.
I went up from the 9th row to all the way up the balcony (The Peace Center’s 4th level up). I had a surprising standout this time around- the strongest actor in the love triangle was Joshua Grosso, the US Tour’s Marius. Currently, he is still in the cast.
I knew the US Tour had a lot to live up to, but they did in their own way.
That is funny. I actually think i have heard of him. Will have to have a look.
The Cardinals will be perfection. All those beautiful voices and people. Dream! 😀
LikeLiked by 1 person