When sisters Marie and Jennifer escape their parents for a short break in Lowestoft, they know exactly what they have in mind. Cheeky, older sister Jennifer – played convincingly by X Factor finalist Lola Saunders is looking for a holiday romance whilst younger sister Marie (Elizabeth Carter) is looking for a more innocent good time – not expecting to become “a teenager in love” by the end of the week.
This is a jukebox musical from the creators of Dreamboats and Petticoats and this team are clearly masters of their craft, this time celebrating the works of composer-duo Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. It doesn’t take long to realise that you have most definitely heard of their work – with hit after hit providing an excellent musical score for the show.
Tracks such as “Sweets for my Sweet”, “Mr Postman”, “Viva Las Vegas”, “A Teenager In Love” and many more iconic tracks are performed enthusiastically by a very talented cast.
This cast includes Antony Costa playing Milton, the crafty American soldier who is always inviting the local ladies back to the Army base where there seems to be a party every night – and what a party you’re invited to with a full live band on stage, many instruments played by the cast members and this brilliant staging of the band helps to truly bring the scenes to life – completing an impressive set, certainly in the bar scenes. Other scenes require more imagination, but it’s not difficult to get past.
Antony Costa, if you’ve not seen him live before, will take you by surprise with his acting ability – he’s actually arguably better as an actor than a singer, which is impressive for somebody who has already made his career as part of one of the UK’s biggest boybands.
The show is stole though by the relationship between Curtis (Jason Denton) and Marie’s genuine love affair. Jason plays the role in such an endearing and likeable way that he quickly becomes an audience favourite but Elizabeth Carter as younger sister Marie, truly delivers in the role. She will have you fall in love with her as the sweet, young lady who longs for her Curtis – played with such beauty and grace – with a great voice too – she truly has the audience in the palm of her hand in moments and it is quite clear that she is enjoying every minute and rightly so. She is a star that you will see in many more musicals in the next 10 years.
Is this a new masterpiece of the theatre scene? No. The storyline is relatively predictable and it’s straight forward as a musical goes. BUT – Save The Last Dance For Me is an entertaining, nostalgic and uplifting night out at the theatre. For any fans of the early 60’s duo and those who enjoy a light hearted night at the theatre.
The audience on a Monday night in Stoke-on-Trent were on their feet before the finale – and when 1600 people are on their feet enjoying themselves, you know you’ve done something right and this production is the epitomy of understanding your audience and giving them exactly what they want. For that reason – this production gets 4 stars from us.
Save the Last Dance for Me is at The Regent Theatre tonight and runs until Saturday 30 April. Tickets can be purchased from wwww.atgtickets.com/stoke or by calling the box office on 0844 871 7649.
Following this date – the production moves on it’s UK Tour to: Glasgow, Sunderland, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford and Torquay.