If heaven does exist, it certainly must be like last night at the Festival dels Jardins de Pedralbes in Barcelona. After a long wait, finally came the night where Madalena Alberto, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Rachel Tucker and Marisha Wallace, accompanied by a symphony orchestra of 45 musicians led by Miquel Tejada, shone on the stage with their voices, songs and emotions.
These divas were excellent, fantastic, extraordinary, wonderful and spectacular. Of course, we refer to them as divas in the good sense of the word, with a huge presence, vociferous and passion at the same time.
Before the concert started, the director of the Festival dels Jardins de Pedralbes explained that this show was a project of the company Nocturns and producer Héctor Sánchez, who proposed him to bring the best voices from Broadway and the West End to Barcelona. The result has been Broadway & West End Divas.
Madalena Alberto, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Rachel Tucker and Marisha Wallace are great actresses and singers. They have participated in a lot of musicals both London and New York. Being able to see them in our city is not too common and has been a total privilege.
The setlist was perfect. First, the introduction featured melodies from Oklahoma, La La Land, Sweeney Todd, Hamilton or West Side Story. As a presentation was very good and already anticipated that the concert would include a very diverse repertoire of composers, eras and styles of musical theatre.
The four artists performed songs from shows in which they have participated and some of their favourite songs of musicals in general. The first diva that appeared on the stage, Madalena Alberto, remembered when she was playing Eva Perón at the Dominion Theatre, Fantine in Les Mis or Grizabella in the last revival of Cats.
We have a lot of appreciation and affection for Madalena Alberto. We saw her for the first time in Evita and, after that, in Cats and in concert in Barcelona and London. Last night, singing Memory, was the most emotional moment for us. Her voice is extraordinary and she moved us back to London in 2015, when we were in a moment of important decisions and enjoying the musicals of the West End. Since then, many things have happened to us, mostly positive, but it is inevitable to remember and feel certain memories again. She was wonderful, as always, and gave us goose bumps and made us cry.
Rachel Tucker made us fell in love with Wicked‘s ‘Defying Gravity‘, a musical she starred in for four years, and ‘She Used To Be Mine’ from Waitress. Although, unfortunately, she was feeling sick, she did not disappoint at all and demonstrated her professionalism and talent as the great artist that she is.
Marisha Wallace was stunning with Funny Girl’s ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ (it’s funny because this show was at the Savoy Theatre in London, where Marisha currently plays Effie White –with Amber Riley– in Dreamgirls). We haven’t got enough words to express her energy singing ‘Shadowland‘, ‘I Know Where I’ve Been‘ and, of course, with ‘And I Am Telling You‘.
We loved her performance so so so much (and we must recognise that she’s the only diva we didn’t know before the concert and now we adore her). Making two ballads with the intensity and as vocally demanding as ‘I Know Where I’ve Been‘ and ‘And I Am Telling You‘ was one of the most memorable moments of the night. We were as excited as ever, if we could go back to last night, we would hear those two songs again and again.
Victoria Hamilton-Barritt was phenomenal in ‘Take Me Or Leave Me‘. Also, her voice is beautiful and perfect in songs like ‘Summertime‘, ‘What I Did For Love‘ and, one of the most memorable moments for the musical fans, ‘You’ll Be Back‘ from ‘Hamilton‘ (although, since she participated in In The Heights at the King’s Cross Theatre, the truth is that we expected ‘Paciencia y Fe‘). It made us especially excited to hear ‘All That Jazz‘ from Chicago, one of our favourite musicals.
The four divas performed together ‘Cabaret’ and Smash’s ‘Let Me Be Your Star’, which brought the entire audience to its feet, after watching so many wonderful songs and performances.
While the four divas were the visible faces of Broadway & West End Divas, it is also necessary to remember all the work that has been behind, such as production, the musicians, sound and lighting equipment and the organisers of the Festival dels Jardins de Pedralbes. Congratulations and thank you all.
We wish the best to the four divas, we hope that we can continue dreaming and watching them performing on stage in the future. We also want to see more shows like Broadway & West End Divas in Barcelona, but more affordable to reach a bigger audience. After this big night, what’s next? More concerts for the divas? Another edition next year? How exciting!
For us, this concert was so important, brought us many memories and was very emotional. It’s amazing how four singers made us feel so many beautiful things. It will remain in our memories forever, what we saw, what we heard and felt is impossible to forget. From Musicals Are Great, we want to express our respect and admiration to Madalena Alberto, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Rachel Tucker, Marisha Wallace and, of course, to Nocturns, Héctor Sánchez and Festival dels Jardins de Pedralbes.
Cesar and Daniel
You can read this review in Spanish here // Puedes leer esta reseña en español aquí: ‘Broadway & West End Divas’, un concierto memorable y que nos trasladó al cielo