70s at its best
Orchard Theatre, Dartford
I have seen productions of ‘BOOGIE NIGHTS’ on many occasions, knowing exactly what to expect from the story. But the ‘IN CONCERT’ version strips away the front room, club entrance and dance floor, requiring the audience to imagine the various stages of the story.
Forget about all of that: this is a party that requires no thinking whatsoever. Just turn up, tune in, let yourself go, and enjoy the ride. Akin to a pantomime/seaside postcard set to a disco beat, this is a non-stop celebration of the best – and the worst – of music’s most erratic decade, the 70s.
A flurry of themed medleys including ‘Disco Inferno’, ‘Boogie Nights’, ‘Blame It On The Boogie’, ‘That’s The Way I Like It’, and ‘Lady Marmalade’, keep the tempo going and the audience on their feet. After a long build-up, The Osmonds appeared to rapturous acclaim, opening with ‘Lazy River’ and ‘Love Me For A Reason’.
Totally relaxed, they know exactly what the fans want, and they do not disappoint, closing their set with ‘Crazy Horses’ complete with fireworks, returning for a shorter spot in the second act with ‘One Bad Apple’ and ‘Remember Me’ before Gareth Gates joins them for ‘Puppy Love’.
Gates also sang ‘If You Leave Me Now’, and his own No.1, ‘Spirit In The Sky’, with Chico making a good impression as Michael Jackson with ‘Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough’, and Shane Richie Junior proving to be a real chip off the old block reprising his dad’s original role, plus a solid cast throughout backed ably by Jump.
In the finale, Jimmy Osmond recalled his ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’ with the whole cast getting down to ‘Boogie Wonderland’.
A real fun show, and ideal escape from reality, possibly not for the purists.