Last week’s autumn production for the Eastleigh Operatic & Musical Society gave us an Extravaganza of Musical Shows – a selection of both some of the better-known and lesser-known numbers from musical theatre.
There is a huge canon of musical shows to choose from, and the company had selected an eclectic programme to showcase the skills of the performers.
The show included something to appeal to everyone from classics (such as White Christmas, Carousel, and Me and My Girl) through the slightly more modern (such as Chess) to some newer entrants to the stage (such as Legally Blonde, Billy Elliot, and Spamalot). It was educational too – there were a few songs that I recognised, but hadn’t known that they came from musicals, and even a couple of musicals I’d not heard of.
We were treated to over thirty numbers from fourteen different musicals – opening and closing, appropriately enough, with Another Opn’nin, Another Show (Kiss Me, Kate) and Rhythm of Life (Sweet Charity), respectively. The performance was slickly put together, with the scenes following on from each other seamlessly and without interruption. This wasn’t just a rendition of “musical’s greatest hits”, it was some of the greatest songs – not necessarily the same thing.
The EOMS company has singers with wonderful voices – I particularly enjoyed Carole Lilly’s powerful rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone (Carousel) and the We Go Together and Rock’n’Roll Party Queen (Grease ) performance by younger members of the cast – four performers whom I am sure we will see more of in future productions.
This was a production, not a concert. The musical numbers were cleverly – and in some places amusingly – choreographed by Rachael Beckingham and Jo Arnold. Music accompaniment was provided by a live orchestra, under the direction of Nigel Finch, and a backdrop of a musical score provided scenery for the entire production.
The format of the production – individual numbers rather than an entire show – allowed the company a few indulgences,, such as Sisters (White Christmas) performed by Keith Wiggans and Mark Harrison in drag. Elsewhere, a modern-day take was given as Mike Alborough looked through messages on his phone while Eve Lethbridge asked “Why Can’t You Behave?” (Kiss Me, Kate).
All in all a very entertaining and enjoyable performance, and an idea that would be worthy of repeat.
Upcoming production by EOMS
EOMS’s next production will be Goodnight Mister Tom, from Thurs 11th to Sat 13th May 2017 at The Point, Eastleigh.
(Editor’s note: photos from the production will be added when we receive them from EOMS later.)
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