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I really enjoy compilation shows and this was another good one. The songs were selected from many of the very well known musicals and also some rather less well known ones. As usual it gave opportunities to those who may not secure a principal role but who are never the less capable of giving a good and entertaining performance.
It’s not possible to comment on each item but the following mentions were notes I made on the evening.
The opening company numbers were full of life and the choreography throughout the production was superb – not only the design but also the presentation by those on stage. Everyone did the same thing at the same time and clearly a lot of rehearsal had gone into such a slick presentation.
The ‘Kiss Me Kate’ and ‘South Pacific’ songs were put across well and ‘Bushel and a peck’ was very good indeed.
The ‘King and I’ medley was delightful. It’s good to see young children taking part and Stanley sang sweetly with Donna. Maggie was very much the governess in ‘Getting to know you’ and the children joined in confidently.
Amanda and the dancers had a great routine in ‘Swing’ and of course the ‘My Fair Lady’ medley appealed to the audience as the songs are so very well known. There were nice little touches in all the musical numbers with either a nod to the original setting or a more novel approach which added interest to the tried and tested presentations.
Next came two suitable songs for the youngsters and Abi and The Teens performed The Music Man’ and ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ confidently and with good accents. (I played Mae Peterson in ‘BBB’; it’s a pity it’s not staged more often; music of that time was very upbeat and catchy.)
Each song up to this point was choreographed in detail so ‘The impossible dream’, set simply with no movement was a restful change. Mike and The Men did it beautifully.
Connie excelled herself with her rendition of ‘Maybe this time’ – it was faultless and packed full of emotion.
It was then back to lots of action for ‘The Wiz’ and another very upbeat number, before a couple of taxing Sondheim songs. The three ladies did a brilliant job with ‘You could drive a person crazy’ and Amanda coped beautifully with ‘Loving you’. ‘Comedy tonight’ is straightforward and was a rousing company number.
‘42nd Street’ was a fitting ending to the first act.
The ‘Chorus Line’ medley was good; Jennie’s ‘What I did for love’ was notable and ‘One day more’ was first rate.
You chose some of the best and not quite so commonly used of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs. I enjoyed Jakub’s song and Tom has a terrific voice and excellent diction. Aileen’s ‘With one look’ was superb and Lucy and Charlie were fabulous as ‘Cats’.
Some of the groups in ‘Titanic’ couldn’t be heard over the band and it might be a good time now to say that the show was over amplified. It’s like that in the West End I know but it’s really not necessary in a small theatre. I had to put my fingers in my ears much of the evening and could still hear everything perfectly well!
The ‘Producers’, and ‘Spamalot’ have become popular shows with younger audiences but ‘Spring Awakening’ was completely unknown to me. It was impossible to hear the words so I’ve still no idea what it was about. There were some rather insecure top notes and it had little appeal in amongst the otherwise interesting and varied choice of songs.
Aileen took a little time to settle into her Geordie accent (I think it’s one of the most difficult to do) but the number from ‘Billy Elliot’ was good.
The rest of the programme was uncharted territory for me and I personally didn’t enjoy the songs as much as the earlier ones, but I do appreciate that it’s good to include something different.
The lighting was excellent and enhanced the production and the rostrum allowed for interesting stage settings.
The musical content was clearly well rehearsed and the vocal dynamics first rate.
TJ put together a vibrant and entertaining compilation show and I enjoyed it very much.
Thank you for your hospitality on the evening – it was, as always, a pleasure to see your production.
NODA South East Regional Representative – District 12