Copacabana, Mellow Dramatics, Brewhouse Arts Centre, Union Street, Burton
The choreography devised by Catherine Moore and Lucy Robinson for the cast of Copacabana makes use of every available inch of the Brewhouse stage and gives them the setting to show off the spectacular costumes and elaborate headdresses used in the show.
I had worried that the costumes, recently added to the Mellow Dramatics wardrobe, would overshadow the performances – but that worry was well and truly misplaced.
Not only did the choreography outshine the costumes, the principal actors also gave some fine performances.
The story centres around Stephen an aspiring songwriter as he tries to write a hit. His imagination takes him back to the 1940s after the Second World War where we are introduced to Lola who is trying to make her way in the New York club scene – specifically at the Copacabana.
Emilie Arnoux, as Lola/Samantha, and Edward Moore, as Tony/Stephen, shone as the young lovers who were split up by Steve Wood’s Rico Castelli – worthy of his boos at the end. Anita Nathan and Alison Broadley were very good as the two women who tried to help Lola out and Tony Ramsay as Sam Silver and Chris Towland in a variety of roles – and accents – provided the comic relief.
For me the standout number was Dancing Fool, not a massive routine but well danced by Edward and the Copa Boys – I do love a bit of tap.
But back to the routines. At times there were more than 30 performers on stage weaving in and out in patterns reminiscent of the Tiller Girls. Come on, some of you must remember them.
The opening night audience was fulsome in its applause after being treated to an evening of glamour and romance that took them from New York’s legendary Copacabana Club to Havana’s Tropicana Nightclub and ended with blood and a single gunshot.
Copacabana is on at the Brewhouse Arts Centre until Saturday, January 17th at 7.30pm with a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday.
Brewhouse Box Office 01283 508100