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CAODS at the Civic Theatre
CAODS' first “Songs from the Shows” presentation was in '96, and this special 90th Anniversary Concert compilation included many of their own favourites from the past, plus some novelties currently wowing them in the West End.
Becky Martin, partnered by Joe Toland, gave us one of the most dramatic performances in “Legally Blonde”, and Sarah Barton sang a virtuosic “Love Never Dies”, as well as Deloris in “Take Me to Heaven” – “Bless Our Show”, also from Sister Act, was very engagingly done, too.
Sometimes, it has to be said, the performances were a triumph of salesmanship: “Only the Good Die Young”, part of a lengthy sequence from juke box musicals, was given 110% by Rachael Brown.
Among the golden oldies, Gareth Barton did a brilliant job on the anthem from Chess, there was a nicely staged “Ragtime” and Joe Toland led the men in “Bui Doi” from Miss Saigon.
The barricades were kept till last – Kim Anderson as Fantine, Richard Harrison as Javert, both outstanding in an impressive octet of principals.
And a nice surprise to start: doyen of the musicals Peter Smith as Lumière, with Diana Baker reprising her Mrs Potts, in what else but “Be Our Guest”, from this year's sell-out success Beauty and the Beast.
The show was directed by Cheryl Jennings, with Patrick Tucker the hard-working MD.
photograph by Christopher Yorke-Edwards