P/review: View from the sofa 5

Brian Butler April 17, 2020

Happy lockdown ! Don’t get stir crazy- there’s lots for you to watch in the next week or so if you know where to look , and that’s why I’m here.

First off, the latest Andrew Lloyd Webber offering is from Friday 17th for just 48 hours and it’s the 25th anniversary concert version of Phantom of the Opera, starring `Ramin Karimloo , who in my opinion was one of the best Phantoms, and the marvellous Sierra Boggess – recorded at the Royal Albert Hall. See ALW’s YouTube page The Shows Must Go On .

I’m indebted to John  Paul Goddard for some wonderful streaming suggestions – more to come in further sofas.

He recommends Broadway HD which streams Broadway and West End musicals and though it’s a subscription service you can get an initial free trial. Shows available include : 42nd Street, Disney On Broadway, An American in Paris, Jekyll and Hyde, Pippin, The Toxic Avenger and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Go to Marquee for plays , documentaries, ballet, dance and opera – over 400 offerings. It has 13 productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company , and others from the Royal Opera House and Bolshoi Ballet .You get  a 7-day free trial before subscriptions kick in.

Long before Hamilton there was 21 Chump Street, starring Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda . It’s on YouTube here

Broadway’s annual Miscast gala is available on YouTube with New York’s hottest stars in roles in which they would never have been cast – its again on YouTube.

And finally Timpson the Musical – yes you heard right. Sponsored by the shoe repairers this Stockwell Playhouse show follows the warring houses of Montashoe and Keypulet and their star-crossed lover children in Victorian  London. Sounds a hoot – again on YouTube.

Hampstead Theatre have released more of their archived shows each week from Mondays. The next two  are : Nina Raine’s NHS-inspired Tiger Country ( from 20 April)  – so topical right now.

From 27 April you can watch Howard Brenton’s politically  charged The Arrest of Ai Weiwei – about the imprisonment of the famous Chinese artist. Further details at

This week’s offering from the National Theatre is their take on the classic Treasure Island , featuring Arthur Darvill as Long John Silver – complete with parrot of course . It’s available from 7pm on Thursday 16 April for a week. Go to NTLive for more information.

La Voix hits 40 this week and she’s doing a free show today ( Friday) – see her YouTube or Facebook pages- and happy birthday dear !

And finally my good friend Hop Backus has sent me a recipe from Chicago which is a heart-warming low-carb variation of traditional Tex Mex food .

To make burrito-stuffed cabbage rolls you’ll need :

2 cups of tomato salsa

1 large head of green or Savoy cabbage

1 lb of lean ground beef

1 oz of taco seasoning

1 chopped tomato

1 cup of cooked long-grain rice

2 cups of shredded smoked cheese.

Heat oven to 375 F. Pour 1.5 cups of the salsa into a baking dish. Set aside.

Put 10 to 12 outer  cabbage leaves in  pan of boiling water – cook for 2 mins till wilted. Place leaves on a paper towel and allow to cool.

Put the beef in a large bowl, sprinkle with taco seasoning and hand mix. Divide into 8 portions in the form of a patty.Divide the tomatoes, rice and cheese among the cabbage leaves and top with a patty. Fold the right and left sides of the cabbage leaf over the filling , then tightly  roll up from the bottom to form a cabbage roll.

Place seam-side down in the salsa in the baking dish. Spoon any remaining salsa over the rolls and sprinkle  with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes . Top with slices of scallions, pickled Jalapeño  or sour cream as desired.

Yum .

Thanks Hop!