reviewed by Paula Citron
The Boys in the Photograph
Book and Lyrics by Ben Elton
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Directed by Ben Elton
Starring Tony Lepage, Erica Peck, Richard McMillan and Richard Harte
At the Royal Alexandra Theatre until Nov. 1
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton’s musical The Boys in the Photograph began life as The Beautiful Game in 2000, where it had a successful and award-winning London run. The incarnation we’re seeing in town with an all Canadian cast is a rewrite. The creators should have left well enough alone.
The boys in the photograph are members of a Catholic soccer team in Belfast in 1969, and the musical is a chronology of the young men and their girlfriends during the civil war. Unfortunately, the storyline of this version is predictable and the ending saccharine. You know who’s going to die, who’s going to go bad, and who’s going to change directions.
That being said, Elton has some clever lines, and Lloyd Webber has some pretty tunes. The male cast turns in the best performances led by the outstanding Tony Lepage as John Kelly.
The Boys in the Photograph continues at the Royal Alexandra Theatre until Nov. 1.