dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Phoenix review at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh – ‘a sweet slice of Americana’

Andy Gallo in Phoenix at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh Andy Gallo in Phoenix at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh
by -

Like a mirror image of A Star is Born, this one-man musical set in 1960s America follows Ash Phoenix as his hopes of becoming a famous musician are stemmed by having to raise his son.

The boy’s mum has left him in pursuit of acting stardom, and we follow Ash as he talks and sings about the rift between living for oneself and living for someone else.

This sweet slice of Americana from Richard Marsh (he co-wrote hit show Dirty Great Love Story a few years back) and Jessica Sharman (who’s had huge success writing country songs for groups such as Ward Thomas) covers a lot of ground: single parenthood, knots of love and lies handed from one generation to the next and the price of fame.

As performer Andy Gallo glides from keys to guitar to drums, singing and live looping in between a verse script, we get pastiches of Johnny Cash, a bit of Springsteen, some heart-melting country music, all gently smudged with a musical theatre edge.

Although Gallo’s acting doesn’t quite make sense of the character he’s playing – he’s not entirely convincing as a 20-something wannabe rockstar – his musical ability is amazing.

It’s a tender story, like a romantic country ballad writ large, whose power comes from the notion that life is not as straightforward as dreams are.

Putting It Together review at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester – ‘enjoyable Sondheim revue’

 

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Verdict
Sweet and tender story about fatherhood with lovely music from Richard Marsh and Jessica Sharman
^