The advantage of doing a revue rather than a full length production is that it gives a society’s lesser lights a chance to shine. So it was with WAOS’s Broadway Nights. Artistes normally tucked away in the chorus found themselves, albeit briefly, centre stage. And they took full advantage.
Muriel Loveridge, for instance, stepped out of the shadows for the opening number of the evening and revealed a charming soprano voice which blended beautifully with Stewart Adkins’ cultured tones on “Wunderbar”. Angela Briley gave full rein to “I Enjoy Being a Girl”, while Anne Howe revealed a beautifully controlled contralto in “With One Look”. But it was the occasional touch of humour that was particularly well received. Pat Briggs, a society member of 41 years and singing for 70, hammed it up delightfully in “Indian Love Call” – and effortlessly hit the highest note of the evening.
And Anne Wilson and Danny Mullane offered a rendition of “You’re The One That I Want” that owed far more to the Hilda Baker/Arthur Mullard version than the by original John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
WAOS’s regulars did their bit too and they were joined by their junior partners, WOW. Fresh from their triumphant “Les Miserables” and, for most of them, school productions of “We Will Rock You” – when do they fit in their homework? – they once again showed their burgeoning talent.
Without a narrative thread, the show lacked some continuity, and there were one or two unwise choices but, overall, it enabled the society to show that it has got more stars than members probably realised. We look forward to seeing more of them in future.
Review by Ron Fosker
PERFORMANCE 0F 25TH APRIL 2009
WITHAM AMATEUR OPERATIC SOCIETY BROADWAY NIGHTS
Director Nikki Mundell-Poole Musical Director Sue Malam
With such a feast of musical numbers and a terrific range of music the audience must have felt they had their money’s worth from Broadway Nights.
About 40 musical numbers in two acts gave the company some real hard work in learning all this music, it has been observed many times by both Directors and Musical Directors, it is more time consuming than working towards a blockbuster show.
It was divided up also with some dialogue, and almost every member of the cast had their fair share of work within the show. It added to the evening to include some members of WOW, with a mix of rather more modern songs playing in the West End at the moment .It would not be possible to name every single soloist but there were some real highs (and one or two lows) which sadly due to words not coming over to the audience lost a good deal of the meaning of the piece and the enjoyment.
The inclusion of the dancers was a nice touch. I am not sure that the piece chosen to dance to was the best for giving them enough scope and variety?
It was good to hear some strong harmonies coming through and well done to Sue and the Orchestra for their support to the soloists especially.
Nikki as always gave some spot on groupings, and the stage was used to it’s full potential .The costumes in general suited the mood of the evening with a mix of smart casual, and rather more formal and the lighting and sound I found pleasant. An excellent programme also,
Well done to you all, we enjoyed the evening, and thank you for your hospitality.