|Date||14th October 2021|
|Society||Teesside Musical Theatre Company|
|Venue||Billingham Upstairs Theatre|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Stephen Sild|
Author: Jean Scarlett-Carr
Copacabana was the show that TMTC were preparing to go on stage when lockdown hit, and so it had been in the making for 2 years and was so worth the wait for them.
The whole cast shone with happiness to be on stage again, nearly as much as the beautiful colourful and glittering costumes, along with the superb colourful lighting and beautifully painted fixed set giving an evening of joyful entertainment for all those attending. The smaller theatre venue gave itself well to this show to give a more intimate night club feel, and the performers filled the stage in those fabulous feathers and glitz with creative choreography tailored perfectly to the space available.
As the story takes us from real life in present day to dream sequence story, the show brings all the very best components of musical theatre. All the principals and the many cameo chorus parts were played with gusto, and the dancers were glamorous and graceful throughout. Acting and character skills from George Maenami were terrific as he portrayed “Stephen/Tony”, with soulful singing too, Hannah Smith as “Samantha/Lola” sang from the heart with delightful dancing to go along, and creative character too. Sleazy “Sam Silver” was played by Scott Ayling with great comedy and character, a joy to behold, and playing alongside him was Anita Smith as night club hostess “Gladys”, also with great character and such energy, and a smile to light any room. Emily Bashford as “Conchita Alvarez” gave a wonderful performance so energetic and effervescent and the most glamorous “has been” ever seen, a real show stealer, as the girl friend of the sinister “Rico”, who was performed with an evil presence by Dan Matuszak, and a beautiful voice for his solo too.
The smaller cast and script meant members played multiple characters and was a pleasure to watch their dedication to “business and character” throughout whenever on stage. The many cameos had lovely details of accents and character and the showed flowed throughout, well directed from Alison Dale. Set design was changed at interval to “Club Tropicana” – beautifully painted and decorated, and in both acts additional set pieces were brought on and off added to the scenes as spot areas ably by cast.
Happy ending to a colourful, flamboyant and joyous show gave a great entertaining evening – well done to all in TMTC. We’re so glad “You are back”.