Elouise at the Civic Theatre
A value-lines Little Voice ? Elouise herself is down-to-earth about her talents: "I sing very loudly in an array of fabulous frocks...". And very well, too, delivering the best of the divas [Judy, Donna, Barbra …] with power and enthusiasm.
The arrangements [MD Steve Anderson] were lush, if sometimes overblown, making the Little Belter sound underpowered. The stage show, with three musicians and four very versatile dancers, was sometimes over the top, camp or kitsch, though I liked the dressing-room introduction, lightbulbs round the mirror, with its photo of Garland.
The chat fell somewhat flat, scripted and stilted reminiscence from this bubbly, giggly chanteuse. We saw her home movies, heard about her career path through cruise ships and Abba Tribute Bands, but mostly it was about the icons and their anthems – Tainted Love, Over the Rainbow, Live and Let Die, and as an encore, Don't Rain on My Parade, with top hats and gold lamé. All given 101% by everyone on stage, for this, the first date in a national tour.