19th April 2012
Lytham Amateur Operatic Society
Lowther Gardens Pavilion, Lytham St Annes
Type of Production
Author: Christine Hunter Hughes
Choreographer: Stewart Harland
Showtune is a musical revue celebrating the words and music of Broadway composer Jerry Herman. The title, being inspired by Herman's autobiography of the same name, features some forty songs from the Herman Broadway musicals from well known ones such as Hello Dolly and Mame, through La Cage aux Folles and Mack and Mabel , to lesser known ones like Milk and Honey, Dear World, The Grand Tour and A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine.
The set was a curtained set which was quite adequate, and boxes on the stage and steps at the back added levels and interest. I was not sure about the use of the steps on the walk across the front of the orchestra pit. Costumes were superb – everyone looked the part. Live music is always a bonus for any review and this one boasted some excellent musicians. The lighting was generally OK although a personal gripe of mine is follow spots that don’t follow and people singing outside a spot.
The show put a huge reliance on the five principals – who I feel sometimes found themselves singing numbers that they were not really vocally suited for. Personally I found many of the tunes unfamiliar, particularly in the first half – with some rather strange harmonies. However, the structure, having been written as an off-Broadway review first performed in 1985, meant that everything moved along well so there was no ‘down time’ and the general pace was excellent.
The chorus was generally good – a shame perhaps that they did not have ‘more to do’ and it was apparent that a great deal of work had been put in by everyone to produce this slick and fast moving show. Many thanks for inviting me and for your kind and generous hospitality.