From a smash-hit musical to a special classical combination, there's lots to enjoy...
Jersey Boys, Milton Keynes Theatre, January 23 to February 3
Jersey Boys is the remarkable true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their rise to stardom from the wrong side of the tracks. These four boys from New Jersey became one of the most successful bands in pop history, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and sold 175 million records worldwide, all before they turned 30. The show is packed with their hits, including Beggin’, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), Big Girls Don’t Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Let’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got), Bye Bye Baby, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back to You, Fallen Angel, Rag Doll and Who Loves You.
Winner of Broadway’s Tony, London’s Olivier and Australia’s Helpmann Awards for Best New Musical, Jersey Boys is the winner of 57 major awards worldwide and has been seen by over 25 million people worldwide.
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, The Venue, Walton High, Walnut Tree, Milton Keynes, January 14
Milton Keynes City Orchestra promises a Four Seasons with a twist at this special concert, where the Four Seasons of Buenos Aires from Piazzolla will be played along with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Vivaldi’s is one of the best loved and most performed works in the classical repertoire. Add the fiery tango rhythms of Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires and the result is a truly intoxicating mix of music. The concert will feature Italian violinist Francesco D’orazio, an internationally renowned musician with performances across Europe, North and South America, Mexico, Australia, China and Japan. Francesco will perform throughout the concert, which is played without interval in another unusual turn in a classical concert performance.
Minnie Birch, College Arms Bar, Cranfield, January 19
An up and coming singer/songwriter from Hertfordshire will play at the first Forest Folk & Roots night of 2018. Minnie Birch writes dark and plaintive music about life, love, adventures and fairy tales, and was chosen as number 7 in Buzzfeed’s list of ‘Brilliant British songwriters to discover’. Following slots supporting Joan Armatrading and a stint at Edinburgh fringe, Minnie has been wooing audiences with tours in Iceland, America, Germany and throughout the UK. Her debut album Floundering received national airplay on BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and on BBC Radio 1 as Huw Stephen’s BBC Introducing Artist of the Week.
Wolf Hall Live, The Stables, Wavendon, January 28
Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novel Wolf Hall was transformed into a riveting six-part drama by the BBC to huge acclaim in 2015. Accompa-
nying Thomas Cromwell’s machinations and hushed conversations in shadowy palace corners was an unforgettable score, composed by Debbie Wiseman and performed by members of The Locrian Ensemble of London. The subsequent CD of the soundtrack reached number one in the classical charts. This concert sees Debbie and the Ensemble perform selections from her acclaimed score, alongside extracts from Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up The Bodies read by Anton Lesser, who played Thomas More in the BBC series.
David McAlmont presents Billie Holiday at Carnegie Hall, The Stables, Wavendon, January 17
Inspired by the legendary 1956 concert at which Billie Holiday’s music was accompanied by extracts from her autobiography Lady Sings The Blues, David McAlmont gives his unique interpretations of the Lady Day catalogue. McAlmont achieved chart success with former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler on hits including Yes and You Do. The Independent said of McAlmont: “He is one of British pop’s most precious hidden treasures. His voice is sublime and miraculous.”