Hits from a nostalgic era

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Feb 2013 Hits from a nostalgic era

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Save The Last Dance For Me

Orchard Theatre, Dartford

January 17 2013

During the late 50s and early 60s, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman wrote dozens of hit songs for Elvis Presley, The Drifters, Dion, Andy Williams, Ray Charles and many others.

Now Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran have taken 18 of their biggest numbers, plus eight other hits from that era, and weaved them into a nostalgic tale for the new musical ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’.

Set in 1963, two sisters from Luton head off to Lowestoft for their summer holidays, meeting GI’s from the local Air Force base, which introduces them to romance and racial prejudice. As love blossomed in the first act the upbeat mood is reflected in the music ‘Dance With Me’, ‘Little Sister’, ‘This Magic Moment’, ‘Sweets For My Sweet’ and ‘Way Down Yonder In New Orleans’ with the choreography outstanding. But, as reality kicks in, the songs become more intense. ‘Suspicion’, ‘A Mess Of Blues’, ‘She’s Not You’, ‘Lonely Avenue’ and the haunting ‘I Count The Tears’ before true love overcomes with the title track ‘Save The Last Dance For Me.’

A multi-talented company of musicians, singers and dancers deliver solid performances throughout, with Elizabeth Carter (the innocent Marie) and Lee Honey-Jones (everybody’s buddy Milton) outstanding. This is, without doubt the best, non-biographical, juke box musical I have seen, and a more than worthy successor to ‘Dreamboats And Petticoats’.

See it, Enjoy it, it will not disappoint.

The national tour continues until the end of July, including Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells (March 11 to 16), New Theatre, Cardiff (May 7 to 11), and Wyvern Theatre, Swindon (June 10 to 15.)

Full details at www.kenwright.com

Jim Stewart 2013

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