Tag Archives: Curtain UP

CURTAIN UP’S 42nd STREET BRINGS SOME BROADWAY GLAMOUR TO THE MEMORIAL HALL

Times are tough on Broadway in 1933 and when word spreads that legendary Julian Marsh is casting for a new show the competition for places in the chorus line is predictably intense. One of the hopefuls is Peggy Sawyer, fresh into town from the Pennsylvania sticks, but when she loses here nerve and misses her audition her prospects don’t look good. Meanwhile Dorothy Brock, a former star who has the lead role thanks to an investment by her current beau Abner Dillon, is probably embarking on a last hurrah.

And so the stage is set for 42nd Street. Not quite the one you remember from the Busby Berkeley film because this stage show only dates from 1980 and has been extensively embellished with great songs of the time, but still a great show and one which has picked up plenty of awards for multiple productions over the last forty years and a fine vehicle for the talent and enthusiasm of the Curtain Up Productions team.

In the skilled hands of Director David Wrightam, choreographer Hayley Wrightam and musical director Keith Weston it’s a terrific, high energy show within a show drama that’s well worth an evening of your time. The lead players are all excellent with special praise going to Ruth Blanchard as the ingenue Peggy and Barb Dowell as the ultra-glamorous Dorothy Brock. Gary Howson’s Julian Marsh is a nice mix of martinet and wistful philosopher and Scott Smith (as juvenile lead Billy Lawlor) does a fantastic job leading the big musical numbers. He’s also resposible for the costumes which brilliantly evoke the colour and energy of 1930s New York.

It’s packed with great songs, the title number being the most famous of course, but also including the incomparable Getting To Be A Habit With Me, We’re In The Money, Young And Healthy and Shuffle Off To Buffalo and some dazzling dance routines and if you’re in the mood to brighten up a dark January evening with some good old fashioned razzmatazz then you couldn’t do better than to head down to meet those dancing feet.

42nd Street is at the Memorial Hall until Friday with tickets available from the box office on 01472 323111

ALL ABOARD FOR ANYTHING GOES AT THE MEMORIAL HALL

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It’s 1934 and SS American is about to sail from New York to England with a passenger list containing assorted aristocrats, clergymen, Wall Street magnates and showgirls. Cameras flash. The band plays. But not everyone is all that they seem.

Welcome to Anything Goes – the classic Cole Porter musical currently being presented at the Memorial Hall by Curtain Up Productions under the direction of David Wrightam.

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It’s one of Porter’s greatest shows, much revived and revised over the years, but still possessing the cool art deco shine of the era of the great ocean going liners and packed with sly wit, occasional smut, terrific dancing and of course some of the greatest songs ever written. In its present form it features not only the title number but also You’re The Top, It’s Delovely, Friendship and Let’s Misbehave. You’ll go a long time before you hear this many showstoppers in one night.

The first thing you notice about Curtain Up’s production is how great it looks – both set and costumes have that 1930s glamour down to a tee – and the show is staged with considerable ingenuity, allowing transitions from the deck to cabin interiors with the minimum of fuss and maximum style.

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All the cast are in fine voice, the choreography is a sharp as you could wish and the orchestra, under Keith Weston, approach their task enthusiastically but with enough subtlety to allow the vocals and lyrics to shine through.

As Reno Sweeney, notorious torch singer and femme fatale, Hayley Wrightam almost steals the show and the fact that she doesn’t do so is testament to the fine performances by the cast as a whole with special congratulations going to Andrew Bailey as Moonface Martin – Public Enemy Number 13 and Scott Smith as Sir Evelyn Oakleigh, whose duet with Reno to Let’s Misbehave is one of the highlights of the night. Sarah Hagerup as Bonnie is another standout – as mollish a moll as any gangster could ever wish.

Altogether this show is a must see for anyone who loves musicals. Highly recommended.

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Anything Goes is at The Memorial Hall from Wednesday 16th – Saturday 19th November at 7.30pm daily and with a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm. Tickets available from Cleethorpes Tourist Information at Cleethorpes Library or by phone on 01472 323111.