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The MGM Story: The Magic of the Musicals

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 28th Sep 2016 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood

To generations of film fans, MGM meant glitz and glitter.

Between its foundation in 1924 and its demise in the 1950s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Hollywood studios produced the biggest though not always the best musicals, launching the careers of the likes of Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.

If audiences of this show expect even a little of the glamour of MGM’s productions, however, they will be sorely disappointed.

Set on a drab, disused film set, this budget production from Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment Concerts and Szpiezak Productions Ltd is essentially a small show with big songs. There isn’t even a whimper from MGM’s famous signature lion.

But there are big performances.

West End veteran Miranda Wilford heads a hard-working, all-singing, all-dancing trio which also gives a light but informative history of one of the largest, most glamorous and revered studios ever, with some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories.

Her beautiful renditions of some of the most famous songs to come from America are faultless. James Leece, who trained at the Royal Ballet School and has worked for Matthew Bourne, also gives a fine performance - his voice has a vintage quality which suits the era, though tiredness was beginning to show towards the end of the first night show. Completing the trio, Steven Dalziel literally throws himself into his role. He’s full of enthusiasm and with his expressive face and flexible body would go far as a comedy actor.

But this is essentially a musical revue and the songs really are the stars.

Musical director Charlie Ingles and his handful of musicians take audiences down memory lane with nostalgic arrangements of such classics as That’s Entertainment, Broadway Melody, Over the Rainbow, Meet Me in St Louis, New York, New York, I Got Rhythm, Singin’ in the Rain, Make ‘Em Laugh and The Night They Invented Champagne.

This show proves that there really is No Business Like Showbusiness!

 

The MGM Story: The Magic of the Musicals is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until

Oct 1

Box Office: 01753 853888

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

Further performances:

Oct 7: Playhouse Norwich

Feb 18, 2017: Chipping Norton Theatre

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