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Tonight's The Night: The Rod Stewart Musical - Review

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
Event: -
Musical of Rod's Rock Hits
Who knew Rod Stewart had such a back catalogue of sentimental, heartfelt songs that could translate into a musical soundtrack? Well Tonight's The Night you find that out.

Tonight1
Sassy she-devil in Tonight's the Night


The forte of this musical production of Rod Stewart hits is (obviously) the music and songs, supported by a cast of great singers, including Sugababe and former Eurovision Song Contest Brit entry in 2009, Jade Ewen.

Written by comedian Ben Elton, the storyline of this musical is not as strong as his other prominent theatre work - We Will Rock You - but it is enjoyable enough.

Catching the performance at Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre, the story follows Stuart, a nerdy, shy Rod Stewart fan who dreams of being more confident in order to win the heart of the woman he loves, Mary. He signs a pact with the devil to swap souls with Rod Stewart and get the rock'n'roll life he craves. And in keeping with the essence of Rod, it's naturally a saucy she devil in a silver catsuit and long red rocker coat.

In fact, there's no end of sassy rock chicks and ladies provocatively dancing in hot pants, but all to great songs like Hot Legs, Stone Cold Sober and Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

Tonight2
Songs of Rod Stewart make up Tonight's The Night musical


The voices, in particular the females in the cast of Jade Ewen, Tiffany Graves and Jenna Lee-James, are staggering, but it is rocker Stoner, played by former Casualty and Doctors star Michael McKell, who steals the show as a drunken, wild, lovable rogue. He doesn't sing much, but he has the acting ability and charisma to stand out - more so than the lead, Ben Heathcote.

While Heathcote is a good singer, he seems miscast as he lacks the swagger, charm and va va voom to make him believable as a supposed rock god that women are throwing themselves at.

My only other gripe is that it was hard to sometimes hear or follow the dialogue on stage as the conversations and sound were not clear enough.

But with songs like Maggie May, I Don't Want To Talk About It, and Baby Jane cleverly fitted around a light-hearted, somewhat flimsy storyline, it didn't make much of a difference to the entertainment value of the show.

Every member of the audience even got a sailor hat as you enter in preparation for the finale of... You guessed it, hit song Sailing.

Tonight3
Jenna Lee-James stars as love interest Mary


Plus there is megamix to round off the show featuring sultry female bagpipers.

It's sexy, a bit silly and full of rock - but what more would you expect of something that is supposed to be the essence of Rod Stewart?

Score: 6/10

Tonight's The Night

Tickets cost from 12.90 from the ticket hotline on 0844 871 7615 or through the theatre ticket website.

New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Until March 1

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
March 3 - 8

Brighton Theatre Royal
March 10 - 15

London New Wimbledon Theatre
March 17 - 22

Stoke-on-Trent Regent Theatre & Ambassador Suite
March 24 -29

Sunderland Empire Theatre
March 31 - April 5

Bromley Churchill Theatre
April 14 - 19

Milton Keynes Theatre
April 21 - 26

York Grand Opera House
April 28 - May 3

Glasgow Kings Theatre
June 2 - 14

Bristol Hippodrome
June 23 - July 5

New Theatre Oxford
July 7 - 12

Woking New Victoria Theatre
July 21 - 26
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Why? Rod Stewart hits as never seen before
When: Touring until July 26
Phone: 0844 871 7615
Where: Various theatres - Birmingham, Glasgow, London and more
Cost: From 12
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