Monday, June 11, 2012


Singalong Nostalgia at the Civic Theatre

The stage resembles a village hall, with plastic chairs and patriotic bunting. But there's nothing amateur about these "girls", or the two hours packed with nostalgia that they brought to their matinée audience.
Vera, Gracie, Jessie, Tessie and the rest were fondly recalled, but there were also nods to the chaps: Arthur Askey, George Formby, and Flanagan & Allen, whose medley also featured some fine vocals from soloists in the stalls.
For Jubilee Year, we also had hits from 1952 – Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford – as well as from the 40s.
Faur̩'s Berceuse [Listen with Mother] heralded a sequence of children's songs РOvaltineys, Me and My Teddy Bear, Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace Рand there was a lovely sequence of songs from South of the Border, with Carmen Miranda especially successful. Frequent quick changes compensated for the dingy setting, so our Carmen was also Jessie Matthews and a movingly emotional Dietrich. Moonlight Serenade was given a superb arrangement, too.
The performers were Beryl Korman and Carolyn Allen, with no less that Jennifer Partridge at the keyboard. So we were grateful to hear generous piano rations of Eric Coates, as well as The Wedding of the Painted Doll, which first saw the light of Broadway in 1929, and is seldom heard today …
What old tunes will we recall for William's Jubilee, I wonder.

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