Review of 'Hollywood Nights'

http://www.heartofhollywoodtour.com/the-show/the-hollywood-h-show

Part of “The Heart of Hollywood” world tour, “Hollywood Nights” is a short evening live performance of excerpts from famous musicals underneath the towering “H” from the original “Hollywood” (“Hollywoodland”) sign. “The Heart of Hollywood” exhibit features the “H” but also a marquee of Hollywood memorabilia and is open during the day. Evening performance tickets are available from the O2 box-office (a short distance from the main show entrance) cost £25 (adults) or £15 (children/concessions) and the exhibit tickets are £10 (adults, plus £2.75 booking fee), £7.50 (concessions, plus £2.75 booking fee) and £5 (children plus £2 booking fee). Both sets of tickets are also available online.

It was tricky finding the entrance as this is in “The Quadrant” outdoor venue just outside the main entrance to the O2 complex. It is the set of doors closest to the O2 which were closed when we arrived with no sign indicating that it was where we were supposed to enter (when open there is a large easily-spotted flag). A brief security check then we were allowed to sit in any of three sections of seats - A middle section of chairs way too close together arranged in several rows in front of the main marquee of “The Hard of Hollywood” exhibit (not accessible during the show), as well as two sets of small risers a ways off on either side of the venue. If you can live with the cramped conditions, the middle section was worth it for the quality of the sound and the visibility of the stage.

Prior to the performance we were given half an hour to have our picture on the the small stage with the “H” behind us. Our host for the evening was charming and patiently helped the process along as we made our way one by one onto the stage for our photos - Obligingly taking them for us (and encouraging “likes” on social media at the same time…).

After the photo-op the 45 minute show itself started against the backdrop of the “H” with an extremely enthusiastic set of young people performing numbers from various musicals, past and present. Included were pieces from West Side Story, 42nd Street, Moulin Rouge, Top Hat, Chicago (Cell Block Tango), as well as Singin' in the Rain (with a bit of a hip-reboot) and the show ended with a piece from the recent Greatest Showman. The performances were impeccable and very well choreographed. All performers sang using live mikes which was incredible considering the frenetic pace of the show as it jumped from number to number…more than 20 in total complete with numerous costume changes. Their voices are generally very good with the odd hiccup that can be easily overlooked considering the otherwise high quality of the show. Following the performance there was a short 10 minute light show on the “H” itself that worked well in the clear dusk of a London night.

After the show we were encouraged to visit the small gift shop on the side of the marquee which featured several original pieces of art made from pieces of the sign by the artist who helped put together the show.

Very impressed by the quality of the show. I have to admit when we first arrived it looked quite amateurish but this was quickly dispelled when the show got underway. The sound occasionally was hampered by the wind in the outdoor venue but generally very good. An odd thing to see but well worth it for any Hollywood (or musical) fans.

Rating:

Review Date: 2018-06-30



The Quadrant (The O2)

Location: London (England)

Address: Peninsula Square London SE10 0DX ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE North Greenwich

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8463 2000

URL: http://www.theo2.co.uk/

Located between the North Greenwich tube station and the front (main) entrance to the O2 (the large blocked off space on your left as you walk from the tube to the O2) this is an outdoor space featuring temporary exhibits and shows. Entry to the space can be problematic but doors are generally located on the side closest to the O2 entrance, opposite the outdoor ticket office, near “Up at the O2”..