A glorious broth
SIDESHOW Theatre Company s Lee Thompson whipped up a glorious broth of a musical show for the Kenneth More Theatre stage last week, with a nostalgic look at the work of the Broadway composer Cy Coleman. His type of show music – big, bold and brassy – is
SIDESHOW Theatre Company's Lee Thompson whipped up a glorious broth of a musical show for the Kenneth More Theatre stage last week, with a nostalgic look at the work of the Broadway composer Cy Coleman.
"His type of show music - big, bold and brassy - is not really something you get to hear anymore,'' Lee observed in the programme notes.
This show, entitled Hey Look Me Over, did a lot to remedy that.
With his unerring eye for an entertaining number, Lee selected a range of Coleman hits to delight the audience, and recruited a strong cast with a range of excellent voices and dancing abilities.
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There were some wonderful numbers from Sweet Charity, including Katie Waller with a crisp and saucy rendition of If They Could See Me Now (which she choreographed herself) and Sean Gillary leading the company in a rollicking Rhythm of Life. Sasha Herst, a tall and limber performer with great charm and vocal talents to match, produced a strong and confident performance of Charity's Soliloquy.
Ronnie Waller and John Gadd brought the house down with a series of tongue-in-cheek renditions of the jerky 1960s craze dance, The Frug, to music from the show. These shots of humour were beautifully performed and added further large dollops of charm to an already delightful show.
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From City of Angels came You're Nothing Without Me, performed with the appropriate stage venom by Steven Day and Phil Rowlands, and You Can Always Count on Me, presented with bluesy style and a come-hither sashay by Stevie Permutt.
Lee also raided Will Roger's Follies - one of his favourite shows - and the lively first act ended with a wonderful ensemble rendition of Favourite Son. Later, Phil Halpin led the rest of the company in a lovely version of Never Met a Man I Didn't Like.
Phil Rowlands led the female cast members in a high-stepping Real Live Girl from Little Me and Georgia Permutt gave us a sexy, saucy Other Side of the Tracks from the same show.
No Coleman revue would be complete without Barnum, and the second act ended with a medley, including Come Follow the Band, led by a dashing Tony Long, and One Brick at a Time, with the cast following the sweet-voiced Jacquie Long, a graceful performer with a voice that at times sounds almost ethereal. The cavalcade ended with a short resume of Coleman's life and an emotional rendition of Colours of My Life.
There was some striking and effective lighting from Rob Mitchell Gears and terrific choreography throughout from different members of the cast.
The dancers from Finch Stage School added a youthful touch by opening both acts with some beautifully executed dance routines.
- SUE LEEMAN