The Genius of Ray Charles
Genre: Musical Revue
Opened 20 June 2005
Directed: Gary Lloyd
Producer: David King for Spirit of the Dance Productions
Synopsis: The music of Ray Charles (who died at the age of 73 in 2004) comes to life in this non stop celebration of his greatest hits, including 'I Can’t Stop Loving You,' 'Hit the Road Jack,' 'Georgia,' 'What ‘d I Say,' 'I’ve Gotta Woman,' 'America the Beautiful,' and many more.
What the critics had to say.....
CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "This lamentable jukebox musical comes as a horrid shock....The six leading singers, three women and three men, all sing tunefully enough, and the 14-piece (worryingly white) band know the notes, though they give little impression of emotional involvement in the music." JACK MASSARIK for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "This slick song-and-dance extravaganza makes no attempt to explain how a blind Georgia orphan could claw his way from abject poverty to the very top of the showbiz mountain. There's no book here, not a single line of dialogue. Nothing, indeed, but songs in glorious profusion." CLIVE DAVIS for THE TIMES says, "Seasoned fans of the great man’s music won’t get an awful lot out of the juke-box presentation, but then the show is not really designed for them. People who know only two or three of the hits, on the other hand, will get a crash course in one of the pioneers of American music....Given that the West End has been awash with anonymous tribute shows, I hesitate to welcome another into town. But there is at least a spark to this one." LISA MARTLAND for THE STAGE says, "This disappointing compilation show...only hints at the great musician’s style, versatility and inspiration." JOHN L WATERS for THE GUARDIAN says, "The second act wisely ends with the big hits but what the show lacks - if you'll forgive the metaphor - is vision." SARAH HEMMING for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "There is something relentless and empty about the show. It is so over-amplified that it assaults you with the music, rather than coaxing you."