SHOW HITS 2014
LADS at the Tractor Shed, Latchingdon
A broad definition of “hits”, and of “show” in this frequently entertaining miscellany. From Stratford East to the West End to Broadway and Hollywood, from music halls to vaudeville
“Some Magic To Do” - from the recently-revived Pippin - makes a promising curtain-raiser, with jugglers and unicycles, and the finale, surely a first, has Spamalot segue into Hair, with happy hippies letting the sunshine in to the Tractor Shed.
Many gems and curiosities along the way: Stanley Holloway's Battle of Hastings, delivered deadpan by an E L Wisty lookalike, and Abbott and Costello's classic 50 Dollars cross-talk sketch, which will doubtless be even slicker come Saturday night, and a delightful soft-shoe Me And My Shadow.
The Great American Musical is well represented: Too Darn Hot, nicely jivey, If Momma Was Married [from Gipsy], Somewhere That's Green [from Little Shop] and an outstanding Miss Adelaide from Guys and Dolls, which just happens to be LADS' next big show in November.
Other musical highlights – Just A Bowl of Cherries [belted out like Liza], That's Life, and an amazing found-percussion sequence.
Dance numbers [ably choreographed by Vicki Bird and Aimee Hart] include Jailhouse Rock, Electricity and a brilliant Bye Bye Blackbird.
Some very tiny performers in the Somewhere Out There medley from children's movies, and, a highlight of Act One, a string of songs from the Great War, linked by original dialogue in a moving musical tribute to the fallen, produced and directed by Judi Embling.
This year's Show Hits is produced by Michelle Kuta, who directed it with Aimee Hart, assisted by Carole Hart. James Tovey is in charge of the music.