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Puttin' On The Ritz - King's Theatre, Glasgow

Published by: Sean Stirling on 10th Jun 2015 | View all blogs by Sean Stirling


If you fancy putting on a top hat, tying up your white tie and brushing up your tails then strut those spats down to the King’s Theatre, Glasgow where this week you will be transported back to golden era of Hollywood.  Puttin’ On The Ritz – The Song & Dance Extravaganza is a celebration of many of the great songs from the movies of the 1920s, 30s and 40s including Easter Parade, Top Hat and An American In Paris to name but a few.

 This musical revue features songs by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, three composers who made significant contributions to what has become known as the Great American Songbook.  Songs such as ‘Embraceable You’, ‘Cheek To Cheek’ and ‘Anything Goes’ have become standards recorded by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart and even Lady Gaga and in this production you can’t help fall in love with these songs all over again. 

Brought to life by 6 singers and a troop of 8 dancers the evening races along with memorable hit after hit.  The dancers tap, flap and jitterbug their way through routines, created by choreographer/director Emma Rogers, that would not look out of place in a Busby Berkley movie.  Every lift and turn is delivered with panache and elegance.

 The singers all have their own special moments to shine throughout the evening.  Hannah Minster gives a beautiful understated rendition of ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ while Rick Rojas delivers a sexy, bluesy ‘Minnie The Moocher’.  Soprano Lucy Van Gasse breaks hearts with ‘But Not For Me’ while Adam Ellis shows off his vocal versatility in ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ where he switches effortlessly between a rich baritone croon to a sweet light falsetto.  Simon Schofield proves himself to be a classic song & dance man in ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)’ alongside Rebecca Lisewski who later gives a thrilling performance of ‘My Man’ a song originally performed by Fanny Brice and later Barbra Streisand in the movie Funny Girl.

 Providing a Fred & Ginger element to the evening’s proceedings are special guests, Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor, both stars of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.  Together they wowed the audience with their dazzling routines. Kristina having to do everything Robin does, only backwards and in heels as Ginger Rogers once jibed.

 The cast are dressed in dazzling gowns and sharp suits, designed by Heather Davis, that could easily have been lifted straight from the lot at Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios.

 My only gripe is the lack of live musical accompaniment.  The cast perform to pre-recorded music.  While the recordings are well produced it detracts somewhat from the live experience that you expect when you attend the theatre.  I appreciate it is expensive to tour a band to produce the full Hollywood sound but these songs can sound just as good, sometimes better, in stripped back arrangements for a small ensemble.  Live accompaniment also would allow the singers and musicians to interact with each other and really do these songs justice.

 That aside the superb dancing and sublime singing will keep you entertained and certainly brightened up this reviewers evening.

 Puttin’ On The Ritz runs at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow until Saturday, 13th June 2015 before continuing on it’s UK tour 

 Puttin’ on the Ritz

King’s Theatre Glasgow

Tue 9 – Sat 13 Jun

Tue – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)  


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 3 years ago
    Great review, Sean. I couldn't agree more with your point about live music. They don't call it "live theatre" for nothing!
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