by Alec J. Ruddick
This proved to be an enjoyable evenings entertainment, with fifty one songs from thirty eight films, all sung extremely well.
The cast for the first half of the programme were costumed in black and white in keeping with the Monochromatic Age and in the second half for A New Era, in colour.
The narrator was clear and very informative, but I could not find the name of the person who did it in the programme.
The Band, under the musical Direction of John Dempster consisted of Brass, Reeds, Keyboards, Bass Guitar and Percussion and proved more than adequate for this show.
Everyone on stage seem to be enjoying themselves but on occasions, one or two the members of the chorus were swaying the wrong way or on the wrong foot. It only needs one to be doing this and the audience cannot fail to notice.
The final sequence, with some of the chorus sitting on chairs for part of ” Be Our Guest” was extremely well done.
The choreography was well performed and the solo items were all sung very well. Director Barry McIlroy has conceived a most satisfying evening.
by Anne Morris
Nostalgia, glitz , glamour and oodles of talent highlighted this show tracing the musical history of Hollywood movies full of show-stopping numbers.
From the jazz age of the 1920’s to the magic of Walt Disney, the hard-working ensemble sang and danced their way through decades of great songs from the silver screen in this feelgood show full of classic numbers to set the toes tapping and hands clapping.
Witty repartee from narrator Camilla Burgess from there faux Oscar stand wove the decades together, and John Dempster’s six-piece band were suburb at keeping up the momentum, with music ranging from the big band sounds of Alexanders’ Ragtime Band to the more poignant Eternally, beautifully sung by Nicky Burgess, whose voice literally soared around the auditorium.
Theming the first half monochrome with ensemble in black and white and the second half in glorious technicolor gave the opportunity for the exuberant cast to don costumes to match and these were very effective.
There were some super solos, besides the lovely voice of Nicky Burgess – Jill Cocovini in You’ll Never Know, Charlotte Watts in Gigi, and Simon Haseley in Give a Little Whistle were just a few.
The show would have benefited from being trimmed, particularly in the first half, to create a seamless flow, as at times it felt more of a choral event that song and dance.
But the real scene-stealers were the dancers and all credit must go to them, from the tap-dancers to ballet to a wonderful pairing as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (no names given in programme) – they worked their socks off.
The society is back to doing what it does best in its next production, the musical version of Scrooge, in December.
Southern Daily Echo
by Michelle McGrath
The magic of the movies gave us great songs by Al Jolson, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. Salisbury Amateur Operatic Society sang and tap danced their way through the movie’s era of monochrome, technicolor and the great movie themes.
If you’re still a child at heart, the Disney favourites will have you humming in your seat!
Beautifully narrated and well constructed; this is a fast paced production where the company moved from one ear to the next with relative ease. Overall, the company reformed well, under the musical direction of John Dempster; this was complimented by stylish and energetic choreography. Good performances came from Simon Haseley (Give a Little Whistle) and Derrick Foord (Thank Heaven for Little Girls).
The set was well constructed, with lovely themed costumes that were complimented by an excellent lighting design. However, consistent incorrect lighting cues resulted in taking away the shine from the polish!
An enjoyable evening!