We first heard about this project much earlier in the year - Lee had just wrapped on filming when he spoke to Tony Fisher on BBC Radio Essex on 17 May - and five months later Ginger Quiff Media's digital revival of Richard Maltby Jr's (lyrics) and David Shire's (lyrics) song cycle Closer Than Ever is streaming worldwide on BroadwayHD.
Starring alongside Lee in this four-hander are his good friend and musical theatre royalty Kerry Ellis (Wicked, We Will Rock You), rising musical theatre star Grace Mouat (Six, &Juliet) and 2018 X-Factor winner Dalton Harris. Kerry and Dalton also joined Lee as guests at his fabulous Live at the London Palladium 40th birthday celebration concert on 10 June.
Directed by Stacey Haynes with co-direction from Richard Maltby Jr, musical direction from Nick Barstow (who also lends his vocals on occasion) and design by Andrew Exeter (production), Dan Samson (sound) and Natalia Alvarez (costume), the production was filmed at the Charing Cross Theatre.
BroadwayHD is an on-demand digital streaming service, recording and distributing live theatre performances and previously recorded theatrical productions. Subscription costs $8.99 per month (c.£6.85) with no minimum period and new subscribers benefit from a 7-day free trial so can experience the platform at no cost provided they cancel before the end of the trial period. Speaking personally, however, seven days is not enough to enjoy the many treasures to be found there, including some of my favourite West End productions of recent years... 42nd Street, An American in Paris, The King and I to name but three.
My own first impressions are of four fabulous voices blending, weaving, separating into their solo numbers then coming back together, capturing the mood of each song perfectly... reflective, upbeat, comic, this talented cast take it all in their stride. And it seems the early reviews agree...
Finally, a few production photos (credit Bonnie Britain)...