NODA reviewAlec J. Ruddick NODA Regional Representative, SW Area District 10
This very adult musical was full of exceptional performances. Each character was very well-defined and brought both cheeky charm and heart-warming sensitivity to the story. The dancing was full of life, particularly at the end of Act 1 in “Michael Jordan’s Ball”.
I must make a special mention of Jenny Mears as “a piano player of indeterminate years”. This was a delightfully “over-the-top” performance, full of energy and confidence throughout – her theatricals were amazing.
Danny Simmons as Nathan Lukowski proved to be a star of the future. The orchestra was well-balanced and tuneful, and the lighting and sound good. Overall this was a great production enjoyed by all who had the privilege of seeing it.
Screams and catcalls filled the air at regular intervals as the story unfolded, all good-natured indications of support from the assembled audience, the vast majority of whom were female.
Fantastic teamwork, well rehearsed, with delightful humour and a gentle touch, members of the company did themselves proud, in the process enhancing the reputation of the 102-year-old SAOS still further. They provided a happy evening’s entertainment for a packed house.
“We normally have about 300 in the audience on the opening night,” explained a member of the front-of-house team, “But we’ve got 644 here”. Such was the anticipation of a little local nudity, or perhaps they just wanted to enjoy seeing their relations, friends and work colleagues in mildly embarrassing situations.
As expected there were great songs and performances, even though some of the “generic American” accents were less than convincing at times. All the performers were good but especially memorable were young Danny Simmons as Nathan Lukowski, Exley Edwards as Horse, and his five friends who do “the full monty”.
Under their musical director, John Dempster, the 11 members of the orchestra were outstanding. The production was directed by Barry McIlroy, working with SAOS for the 12th time. He is a stalwart of the Wellingborough Amateur Operatic Society but says he always enjoys working with the Salisbury group.