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REVIEW: Wow! That’s What I Call Musicals at Scarboorugh Spa

Edward Leigh , Mike Carnell, Rosanne Priest, Linda Newport , Lauren Blanchard.
Edward Leigh , Mike Carnell, Rosanne Priest, Linda Newport , Lauren Blanchard.

Wow! This is what you call entertainment – a clap-along, dance-in-the-aisles, sing-along two-hour tribute to the world of musicals.

It follows the success of past Scarborough Spa’s Thoroughly Modern Musicals and Movies Meets The Musicals series.

The formula is simple – a mix of the best tunes from musicals from the West End, Broadway and the silver screen belted out to fun choreography.

They are sung by five vocalists – Linda Newport, Mike Carnell, Lauren Blanchard, Ed Leigh and Rosanne Priest.

Linda Newport, as usual, directs with an eye to humour and Lauren Blanchard is the choreographer.

The set is simple – the costume changes chic, glamorous, cheesy and many.

From the Top Hat opening medley to the Greatest Showman finale, there is hardly a pause for breath.

The cast ‘float on’ in ball gowns and evening dress to Top Hat, Putting on the Ritz and I’ve Got Rhythm.

Then the singers segue into duets – including This is the Moment from Jekyll and Hyde, I Know Him So Well from Chess and The Lady Is A Tramp from Babes in Arms. Before there is a quizzers’ row, the Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers song was also used in the movie version of Pal Joey.

The Lady is a Tramp was duetted by Newport and Carnell – with Newport cleverly changing the lyrics so she is boating on Peasholm Park lake.

That is one of the signatures of Newport’s shows – she adapts the material to make the most of her audience’s affection for the town – always showing it off in the best light.

A western musicals medley was clad in gingham and cowboy boots and was a veritable hoedown.

It included Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – Oh, What a Beautiful Morning – Oklahoma including I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No, Surrey with the Fringe on Top and the title song – and Calamity Jane. The Black Hills of Dakota was sung as the beautiful ballad it can be.

The second half opens with a tribute to Singing in the Rain – Good Mornin’, Make ‘Em Laugh and Singing in the Rain.

It was then on to more modern musicals. Mamma Mia! 2 is out later this month so an Abba section was a given.

It was dressed in flares and platforms, cheesy and camp and knew it. Super Trouper, Why Don’t You Give Me A Call and Fernando were part of the mix.

Motown medley was dressed in black trousers and gold sparkling jackets and included My Girl.

Then Newport gave us a lorra lorra laughs and lyrics with a spot-on Cilla Black. Step Inside Love, Anyone Who Had a Heart and Alfie ensured there was not a dry eye in the house.

Newport is a force of nature that can move from swing to Sixties pop with ease. Scarborough should count itself lucky to have her – she’s our very own star.

The show closes with the latest big screen hit the Greatest Showman – a film about Barnum starring Hugh Jackman.

It brings the curtain down with rip-roaring, spirit-lifting anthems.

Wow! That’s What I Call Musicals is on Thursdays and Saturdays untul June 9. It is then on every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from June 14 to September 15. Show time is 8pm.

Tickets are £14 and £13 concession. A child goes free with each adult.

Tickets: www.scarboroughspa.co.uk or box office on 01723 821888.