REVIEW: Puttin’ On The Ritz at Manchester Opera House

Showing until 27 September 2014...
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What do you get when you cross a cruise liner evenings cabaret with Strictly come dancing?

The American all-singing, all-dancing production of Puttin’ on the Ritz, is a not to be missed musical celebration featuring the most popular songs of Hollywoods golden era of the 1920’s & 1930’s written by three of the most acclaimed composers of all time George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter with hits such as I Got Rhythm, Embraceable You,Anything Goes, Lets face the music and dance, Top Hat and Cheek to Cheek.

“…old fashioned, wholesome
entertainment…”

However, something was amiss and i was trying to put my finger on it then it quickly dawned … The show lacks an orchestra and uses pre-recorded music and tap dancing and the glistening sparkle off the set never really changes other than when the performance veers away from the main composers material and revisits ‘The Cotton Club of 1929’ in Harlem, with hits like Aint Misbehaving, Up A Lazy River and Birth of the Blues.

Not withstanding, it took the audience on a glittering nostalgic journey enhanced with glamorous costumes, spectacular dance routines all performed by an award winning cast of dancers and singers who deliver a breath taking extravaganza trading on the back of Strictly Come Dancing’s revival and popularity.

Puttin On The Ritz At Manchester Opera House

To top it all off, it even features a special guest star in the shape of Lorna Luft (Judy Garlands daughter) belting out some never ageing classics Garland numbers with gusto befitting the legacy of her famous mother. Shivers down the spine is the only way to describe her heart tugging rendition of ‘The Man That Got away’

Dynamic choreography by Emma Rogers was excellent and the singing was fantastic too especially by Sarah Earnshaw who emoted a couple of stellar solo tracks and Paul Hazel of Lion King fame who adored the audience with a nod to Sammy Davis Jnr’s Mr Bojangles.A special mention should be made to Emma Kate Nelson & Simon Schofield’s song and tap routine to ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Aint Got No Swing’ which was also one of the nights highlights.

Puttin’ On The Ritz will surely grow as a song and dance extravaganza, especially if it keeps such a strong ensemble together. A bit of humour here and there wouldn’t go amiss but if it’s old fashioned, wholesome entertainment your after grab a ticket quick as it’s only on till this Saturday.

Showing until 27 September 2014.

What do YOU think?

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