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Theatre Review: Lights! Camera! Action!

A 2-hour concert of songs that celebrate Hollywood movie musicals from the past 100 years.

A wonderful selection of sing-a-long popular hits from the movies!
3.5

Presented by Upstage Theatre
Reviewed 16 May 2021

You certainly don’t have to be a golden oldie to enjoy the hit songs of the movies from the last hundred years. Many of them are still heard on the radio today, with the films themselves reappearing occasionally and still cropping up as stage musicals year after year.

Whether it’s the razzle dazzle of Chicago, the honey buns of the South Pacific or a beautiful morning in Oklahoma, the musical movies of Hollywood have left a legacy of great tunes that deserve to be enjoyed time and time again.

Upstage Theatre’s travelling concert is no mean feat. Despite the bare stage, there’s basic choreography and good costuming for every song, and the five performers belt out a 2-hour marathon of memories.

Highlights include John Martin channelling Cab Calloway in Minnie the Moocher, Deirdre Quinn’s seductive rendition of Fever, and Bronwyn Calvert earning the loudest applause with Life is a Cabaret.

Stephen Poposki rounds out the main cast, with Malcolm Calvert providing well-timed sound queues and participating in a couple of songs himself.

L-R: Deirdre Quinn, Malcolm Calvert, Stephen Poposki, Bronwyn Calvert, John Martin

The fully orchestrated backing track and the simplicity of the staging makes the show feel like an enhanced karaoke concert at times, but the selection of songs is superb, offering a sing-a-long extravaganza for fans of the music. The films covered range from the 1920s to the 1970s and include Girl Crazy, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Casablanca, My Fair Lady, High Society, Anything Goes and many more. The primary cast all share the narration to introduce songs, and there’s a smattering of short comedy skits to break up the music too.

This is the first time Upstage Theatre has presented at Diverse-City (the former Promethean Theatre) and it’s an ideal venue for such a show, offering a stage, bar, meals and comfortable seating. Upstage Theatre presents a range of travelling shows, from these concert-style presentations to full stage plays. With a new city venue now on their itinerary, perhaps bigger audiences will get to enjoy the comedy antics of Upstage Theatre in the future.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Venue: Diverse-City, 116 Grote Street, Adelaide
Season: One weekend only. Season ended
Duration: 2 hours plus interval

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