My Lifelong Love: An Evening with Georgia Stitt and Friends (A non-review)

October 30, 2014
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This rarely happens. I’ve filed my official, pen-named review (actually I forgot to put a pen name on it so it’s probably out there under my real one…oops). Usually at this point I let it go and get on with the million other things I’m supposed to be doing, but there was something about Georgia Stitt’s concert at the Garrick on Sunday that reminded me why I love ‘event theatre’ (inverted commas because I hate that phrase but it works so I’m using it), and made me want to keep talking.

I got in to theatre because I fell head over heels with the idea of exclusive events. I loved the idea that these shows would not last forever; if you missed it, it was gone, at least for now. The thrill of creating something that was such a celebration it would only happen once formed a huge part of my early career, and the very nature of the ‘one night only’ meant that the projects were always things worth seeing. To go to that effort for something sub-par would not only be a complete waste of time and money, but also kind of soul destroying. It comes back to one of my favourite ‘production sayings’: We do it because we can’t not. That applies hugely with the one-nighters, I think. Up to ten months of work for one night? You must either be crazy or convinced. Read more…

Jonathan Baz Review: My Lifelong Love – An Evening with Georgia Stitt and Friends

October 29, 2014
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Take one gifted composer, six sensational solo artists and five fine musicians. Place them on a practically empty stage and let the music do the rest. This was exactly what happened at the Garrick this week when America songwriter Georgia Stitt, for one night only, made her West End debut.
In a cleverly arranged evening, act one comprised eleven solo numbers, with the second half a selection of songs for multiple voices. Impressive amongst the men were Jamie Muscato whose The Light Of The World was both powerful and moving. Norman Bowman joined Muscato to perform She, possibly one of the most stunning contemporary male duets written, with Bowman’s rendition of Sonnet XXIX making an excellent close to Act 1. A credit to both him and Stitt for taking some of Shakespeare’s most beautiful prose and so delicately fitting the words to music. Stitt’s confession that, having grown up in Memphis her style has been significantly influenced by the Blues, was more than evident in Simon Bailey’s incredibly cool performance of At This Turn In The Road Again, a song (along with many others) in which AJ Brinkman’s work on bass was a treat to listen to. Read more…

From the Room Review: Georgia Stitt in Concert

October 29, 2014
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I spent a wonderful evening with Skye Crawford and Whitney Mosery at the Georgia Stitt concert at the Garrick Theatre on Sunday night.  Georgia is a rising star from the USA, a composer, lyricist, MD and, as I discovered after the show – she is also a really lovely person. Her songs are  so honest and personal, funny and poignant.

She was joined on stage by a cast of great singers including Simon Bailey, Norman Bowman, Cynthia Erivo, Jamie Muscato, Eva Noblezada and the lovely Caroline Sheen as well as the choir from Arts Ed. Drama School.

The producer for this great show was Danielle Tarento.  After sitting on an MMD panel with her and John Cohen, talking about stage rights and writers, I seem to meet her everywhere. Her  wonderful productions including: Dog Fight, Titanic, Mack and Mable and Parade.  Read more…

Review: My Lifelong Love – An Evening With Georgia Stitt and Friends – Garrick Theatre

October 28, 2014
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My Lifelong Love – An Evening With Georgia Stitt and Friends was performed at the Garrick Theatre, London.

US composer and lyricist Georgia Stitt’s performance in My Lifelong Love at the Garrick Theatre marked her solo West End debut. The show featured songs from her three albums: This Ordinary Thursday, Alphabet City Cycleand My Lifelong Love, and also her shows Big Red Sun,Mosaic and Samantha Spade – Ace Detective in Act I, while Act II showcased her current work in progress, The Danger Year, which I hope we hear more of very soon.

There is no denying Stitt’s immense talent as a songwriter and musician. Every song is superbly crafted. She may often be called Mrs Jason Robert Brown, but her music has its own wonderful energy: strong pulsating rhythms, cross rhythms and shimmering running passages combine with classical, jazz, dance and R&B influences, and soaring melodic ‘hooks’ reinforce central themes. Her orchestral writing, and command, is wonderful – Stitt writes music for singers AND instrumentalists and it was notable that she credited her superb musicians and singers in equal measure. Read more…

Review: My Lifelong Love: An Evening with Georgia Stitt and Friends – Garrick Theatre, London

October 27, 2014
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Reviewer: Ava Eldred

In recent years, an abundance of ‘One Night Only’ concert engagements seem to have popped up in and around the West End. As with any instance of over-saturation, some are average, some are terrible, and then there are the rare ones, such as last night’s performance of My Lifelong Love: An Evening with Georgia Stitt and Friends, that are classy, have a reason for existing, and for the most part are truly excellent.

A lot of this is to do with the material. Georgia Stitt manages to be both mature and youthful in her writing; she sounds contemporary and fresh but always with a solid assurance that she knows exactly what she’s doing. Interestingly, the programme lists the years in which the songs were written, and for the most part, Georgia’s writing gets better and better as time goes on. Particular highlights include Palimpsest, written in 2013 for the Once Upon A Time In New York City concert series and Stop, from Georgia’s current projectThe Danger Years, which formed the entirety of the concert’s second act. This is usually a structure I find dull, but it worked well here. The Danger Years is pacy and engaging, and will become even more exciting as it is developed. Read more…

Review: My Lifelong Love – An Evening With Georgia Stitt and Friends @ The Garrick Theatre

October 27, 2014
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Making her West End debut with My Lifelong Love, composer Georgia Stitt is still probably best known as the wife of that other composer of modern musical theatre: Jason Robert Brown.  Yet in this one-off evening celebrating her music, she proved that she’s certainly his equal.

Stylistically there are clear similarities between their music.  Both follow a comparable dramatic rhythm, merge word painting and a sense of classical composition with accessible pop melodies, and hold storytelling as a core focus.  Every song is a story in its own right, both composers having a penchant for contemporary subjects – brutally honest and believable love stories in our modern world.  Yet where so many New York composers attempt to replicate JRB’s sound, only Stitt can truly compete. Read more…

Review: My Lifelong Love: An Evening With Georgia Stitt and Friends

October 27, 2014
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My Lifelong Love: An Evening With Georgia Stitt and Friends at the Garrick Theatre, Sunday 26th October 2014

Unless I’m a complete philistine, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person arriving at the Garrick Theatre last night for “My Lifelong Love, An Evening with Georgia Stitt and Friends” thinking ‘Georgia Stitt, who is she?’ Well, after a couple of hours of listening to her music, I can confidently say that this American born composer, lyricist, arranger, conductor, musical director and occasional singer is proof that the ancients got it wrong when they said you can be a Jack of all trades and master of none. Georgia was certainly the master, or should that be mistress, of the stage last night. In fact I should add to the list of her accomplishments, dammed good piano player and witty host as well. The show was a wonderful introduction to Georgia’s music with songs such as ‘One Day More’ from her debut album ‘This Ordinary Thursday’ right through to excerpts from her latest work ‘The Danger Year’. Read more…

Review: My Lifelong Love at the Garrick Theatre

October 27, 2014
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My Lifelong Love 
Garrick Theatre
Reviewed on Sunday 26th October 2014
“Every good theatre song tells an individual story” said Georgia Stitt at the start of her My Lifelong Love concert, and this really did ring true throughout the whole evening.
The audience developed a wonderful relationship throughout the course of the show with the incredibly talented singer, composer, lyricist and musician. Stitt opened the show with ‘The Me Of The Moment’, a song beautifully written about the reality of life. An informal chat followed from the slightly nervous yet playfully excited Stitt. Read more…

Shamus, That’s the Stuff That Wedgies Are Made Of

May 8, 2014
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The New York Times | By Laurel Graeber

Noir will become much more than a French vocabulary quiz word for adolescents who see “Samantha Spade, Ace Detective: The Case of the Maltball Falcon,” at Tada! Youth Theater. This wry new family musical, starring the talented, mostly teenage members of the Tada! ensemble, successfully tackles a challenge that would furrow even Bogie’s brow: creating a colorful adventure about a black-and-white world that its audience may never have heard of. Read More…