July 29, 2012
-- Singer and talented radio Broadcaster Lesley Anne Knight and Pianist/Musical Arranger Paul Knight ( no relation) brought a magical evening of broadway hits to a packed house at the North Wall Arts Centre Oxford on 14th July. The Knights took their audience on a journey spanning spanning decades of great musicals. The marvelously accomplished Paul Knight's arrangements and deep love for the music he was playing was the perfect foil for the multi facetted Lesley Anne Knight who brought a soaring soprano that threatened to take the roof off the cosy venue as well as great humour and a talent for mimicry.
This was an evening for those who love the Broadway musicals but also those getting to know them. Lesley-
Anne's encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of the musical was evident as between songs she shared a little about the origins of the music and anecdotes about the composers.
Simply set, a piano a stool ( which served as a prop) and Lesley Anne ( turned out beautifully in the obligatory black evening dress for the first half) subtle lighting and a sound system that held on ( just) to music from Gershwin and Lesser, Sondheim and Porter, Bernstein and even Tom Lehrer.
The arrangements were right on the money, Lesley Anne displayed great versatility the 'Poisoning pigeons in the Park' encore was outrageously funny. A packed house applauded appreciatively and our only complaint was the show needs to move to a larger venue, at times Lesley Anne seemed to have the brakes on so as not to overwhelm the venue with a powerful soprano that we have been fortunate to hear at larger venues.
If you like the Musicals, actually even if you don't, make a point of catching Lesley Anne and Paul Knight, you will not be disappointed.