||Over the years, we've seen a variety
of musical theatre productions, and although I don't profess to have seen a lot
of them, we've seen enough to know what we like. This production took some songs from a
lot of the productions that we've seen, and others that we have not,
though the latter are typically from before our time.
Strangely enough, I knew a lot of songs
from the earlier productions, like Hello Dolly and Annie Get Your Gun.
There was a lot of scene switching from one song to another, as they
went through 39 songs from 25 productions.
The show started off rather rocky, with
cracking voices from a few of the singers and dancers, but I wonder if
it was supposed to seem that way, now. Once they moved into the
jazz-type songs, they were amazing. To stand still through each song
made some of the people look like wax figures, resuming their "daily
lives" only at the required time in the songs. Although I was not a fan
of Chicago, these dancers and singers did the Cell Block Tango with an
energy that made me tap my feet.
The more recent productions, like
Cats, Les Miserables, Grease, Phantom of the Opera,
Beauty and the
Beast, Mama Mia and
The Lion King, made me want to see those again, in
some form or another. Quite impressive. I can't understand why they only
did one song from Phantom, however, as the singers did so well -better,
in fact, than the actors in the recent movie. Grease got the most songs,
and was one of the most fun. Beauty and the Beast was a little
lacklustre, though the singers for the theme song from that show did a
Some of the songs from Mama Mia were
cut short, and I wonder at some of the choices. There were certainly
other songs that were more representative of that show. Some of the
shows chosen seemed strange, too. Having never seen Chess, I wasn't
tempted to do so after this preview, though their rendition of Hair,
which I also haven't seen, was entertaining. It didn't seem to be worth
Jesus Christ Superstar, as they simply stood around, giving no idea how
that production proceeds at all.
The true star of the show was the
finale, of course, where they repeated the costumes and energy of
Lion King, even moving through the crowd as in the original production.
I would love to see that show again.
There were two or three singers who did
most of the voice-work, and they were great, even though we could tell
who they were under their costumes. One reminded me, in voice and
appearance, of Celine Dion. The voices, naturally, didn't match
what we remember from the originals, but we didn't expect them to. This
was put together to give us a taste of everything, and it did an
I wonder about the use of microphones
during the production, however. Sometimes the voices could not be
conveyed properly through the speakers, especially in high-pitched
sequences. I think it would have been better to have at least the main
singers without microphones around their heads. A simple set of mics
around and above the stage might have been more effective, and made it
feel more live, without booming the music and voices into every little
I always enjoy live shows; I think
there is nothing like them. Seeing some of the best shows rendered here
kept me more than entertained; I went home singing the songs, while I
was tapping my foot through most of the show. Given the small stage and
the number of stage changes on the rotating platform, they did a
remarkable job transforming into so many characters in so many scenes
from so many shows during an hour and a half.
Consider this show a recap, whetting
the appetite for what we haven't seen, and allowing us to relive the
shows we have seen previously. I can't wait to see the originals again.