"Another big hit from this well-loved group".
Tamworth Musical Theatre Company are performing Barry Manilow’s Copacabana at The Brewhouse Theatre in Burton this week. The story follows present-day composer, Stephen, who is inspired to write a musical set in a glamorous 1947s nightclub where girls are sassy, legs are high-cut, feathers and glitter are abundant and sparkling cocktails are flowing.
His musical centres around self-incarnated songwriter, Tony Forte (Andrew Gilman), and wannabe Copa-Girl, Lola La Mar (Stacey Ward), who find the key to success when they perform together at an audition in New York City’s Copacabana Nightclub. Gladys, a former Copa-Girl, (Nik Ellis) introduces Lola to club owner Sam Silver (Tony Ramsey) in the hope of getting Lola hired at the club. The plot unravels and we are introduced to Italian gangster Rico Castelli (James Gorton) who has taken rather a fancy to Lola, so kidnaps her and flies her to his club in Havana. Having arrived at the Tropicana Nightclub, Lola is forced to sing and dance, now billed as the clubs no.1 showgirl. Rico’s former girlfriend, the sexy Conchita Alverez (Becky Easen), now no longer the no.1, has her thunder stolen when Lola is forced to perform the very number that made Conchita a star. Lovestruck Tony comes to Lola’s rescue and, after a single gunshot is fired, Tony and Lola are able to escape and return to NYC and back to the showbiz life they live for.
Director and choreographer, Emily Carroll, must be very proud of her cast as the group really did deliver a dazzling show. Gilman and Ward were perfectly cast and played charmingly against each other, their beautiful, harmonious voices carrying the uptempo numbers with energy and the ballads with tenderness. Gorton and Easen were strong characters, again with excellent voices, who brought the drama to the stage and Ramsey was fabulous as Sam Silver with just the right amount of humour and toupe control. An excellent principal line-up but I admit Ellis as Gladys stole the show for me with her upbeat confidence, spot-on accent and character projection. The very bubbly supporting cast included an excellent dance troupe in an array of costumes - some daring sequined ensembles and plumed headdresses - who performed many dance styles from samba to tap and ballet to flamenco. Supported by an excellent off-stage orchestra, directed by MD Fiona Ball, it was, in all, a delightful evening of entertainment, performed to an enthusiastic audience and even the local gentry. Congratulations. Another big hit from this well-loved group.
Runs to 10 November
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