This week I was invited to the press night at The Churchill Theatre for That’s Entertainment, a show that celebrates the iconic music from the 1940’s/1950’s, with plenty of showbiz charm, lights and sequins included for good measure.
As the show is touring the UK it has involved a handful of guest stars at some of the venues, the guest star for Bromley was West End and Broadway theatre star, Ruthie Henshall. The cast was made up of dancers and four singers including Sean Smith, one half of ‘Same Difference’ (X Factor singing duo).
The production featured an array of songs throughout the evening including Puttin’ On The Ritz, The Trolley Song, If I Loved You and I Got Rhythm. Ruthie was introduced to the audience after the first few musical numbers and she was warmly received by the audience with her first song ‘All That Jazz’ which she sang in the popular theatre show Chicago. She shared a story with us about growing up in Bromley and how that day she had gone back to her childhood home, so she felt a connection in coming to Bromley. It was nice to hear more about her personal life, mixed with interesting stories about her varied career on various stages throughout the world, as well as an interesting story about Mickey Mouse amongst others!
Unfortunately the show struggled with it’s sound. The backing track (as there was no band) was played far too high and the microphone levels for the singers was too low. This meant they were not heard clearly and a lack of diction in places didn’t help. The tap numbers, whilst enjoyable and fun also suffered due to the tap click track which was being played much louder (and just slightly out of time too). That said, the high energy and also more emotional songs resulted in some great singing that could be heard as well as some great dance routines showing the talented casting of this show.
With Ruthie making her appearance a number of times throughout the show, this gave a nice break and changed the flow of the show. Her rendition of ‘The Man That Got Away’ was great, her warm rich tones and emotions were captured beautifully in this song.
This was a pleasant evening watching a show which captures the essence of the iconic music, along with guest star Ruthie Henshall, who is a talented and much loved theatrical star. With lots of gimmicks and a good dose of cheese – the audience seemed to enjoy the show, despite being low in attendance.
That’s Entertainment plays at The Churchill Theatre until Saturday 2nd July and then continues it’s UK Tour. The tour includes performances from The Overtones, Jonathan Ansell and Elaine C Smith.