Cabaret on Broadway

Date 22nd March 2019
Society Alnwick Stage Musical Society
Venue Lindisfarne Middle School
Type of Production Concert
Director Leonie Airlie, Kellie Hughes, Lynne Lamber
Musical Director Peter Brown
Choreographer Leonie Airlie

Report

Author: Kathryn Curry

If you want to know how to convert an old school hall into a ‘Cabaret’ theatre then ASMS are the company to ask. This old school hall looked amazing and with table seating and a bar; you could have been in a ‘Cabaret’ venue so that got the show off to a stunning start. With their usual venue theatre being closed due a full refurbishment ASMS took the opportunity to have a showcase of their talented cast, some of whom never get the opportunity to play leading roles in this style of concert. It was a real celebration of song and dance from some of the greatest ‘Broadway Musicals’ giving this society of multitalented performers to show us what they can do. Whilst predominantly a concert there was a theme running through the whole show with the underlying story of the struggles, hopes, disappointments and successes of life on stage. This concept worked really well and each routine or solo flowed seamlessly from one change to another. In limited stage space with a good back drop, excellent lighting and sound, simple but very effective costumes and props this was a night to remember.

Master of ceremonies and ‘Maestro’ Peter Brown a man of many talents linked the whole show together. He was superb, very funny and at the same as M.D. kept this excellent ensemble of musicians on their toes with his infectious enthusiasm and pace. Well done Peter as ever a musical genius.  The show was slick and the obvious enjoyment the cast were having stage soon set the audience going who rewarded them with rapturous applause and cheers for each performer. It was lovely to see how versatile everyone was especially as some artists performed solos that had never done so before and boy did they all shine.

The time flew by as we were entertained so well. The numerous musical, solo, dance and chorus numbers were well rehearsed and both creative and of high energy; so much so you felt you wanted to be up there amongst them!! I know Norman and I did!  There wasn’t a weak link in the whole cast. There were so many wonderful solos and ensembles as well as chorus numbers it would be impossible to mention all. Everyone was performed to perfection. However I would like to congratulate Colin Grimes, Kellie Hughes, Susannah Clapcott and Dianne Maughan on what I think was their debut at solo singing; they were inspired and their confidence showed in their empathy with the songs they sang. As ever the regular voices over the years we have come to love continued to thrill with each performance. ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ sang by Anthony Stoker was a real highlight and there was such a hush over the audience. We were enchanted and a tear or two shed. ‘If I were a Rich Man’ well, if ever there was a man to play this part then call on Mark Stenton. The most charming rendition of ‘I Remember it Well’ was duo, Arlene Cadman and Stuart Archer and it was simply beautiful.

Leonie Airlie, Becca Grey, Peter Biggers, Claire Teasdale, Colin Grimes, Ali Wrangham, Sally Black, Lisa Gladstone, Gary Brown and Lynne Lambert as soloists gave stalwart performances with wonderful characterisation and singing. The finale ‘The Greatest Show’ was front lined by Gary Brown and Mark Stenton; what an electrifying performance from both of them backed up by the whole cast.  Yes it certainly was ‘The Greatest Show’ and my congratulations to the whole team from directors, crew, musicians, cast etc. for an outstanding evening of wonderful local talent who performed as professionals.