‘Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl’ is a line that many of us may know from Barry Manilows’ famous late 70s track, Copacabana. In 1985 the musical with the same name was released and toured the United States.
The story follows wannabe singer Lola after meeting songwriter Tony. Tony is immediately smitten with Lola and assists her through her flailing attempts to break in to show business. They both start finding fame at Manhattens’ Copacabana lounge. Lola finds herself swept away by fate to Havana to work in a splashy nightclub where she is certain that she will find her fame and fortune…however things do not quite work out like that. Lolas’ new boss and mentor, Rico, is quite an unsavoury character, resulting in drama and conflict.
Splinters Theatre Group had quite a task on their hands as this is not the most well known of musicals…however, they do a great job of getting the audience acquainted with the storyline and drawn in to the performance, with some of the charismatic characters on stage.
There is some great Sheffield talent in the cast on stage at The Montgomery. Lead male Adam Walker (Stephen/Tony) has some great moments in the show which allow him to showcase his smooth vocals and great acting skills. Alongside Adam is Emily Wilson playing Lola La mar; Emily needs to take an extra bow at the end of this show as she absolutely steals it with her vocals. Emily has a great range and delivers sweet tones with diction perfect for musical theatre. A real standout moment is the duet between this leading pair during This Can’t Be Real.
Jennifer Horsfield plays Conchita; it is a shame that we don’t get to see much more of this talented actress as she has the best stage presence and really excels during her number Havana. Eli Ingle plays Sam Silver, a comedic role, rousing lots of laughter from the audience with his well executed take on the character… a really talented actor.
The chorus do a great job of delivering energy in the group numbers and this especially shines through during Havana…a fun, colourful number. Enjoyable choreography, especially in the partnered sections during Dancing Fool and Bolero D’Amore.
The band must get a mention with their jazzy, upbeat sounds. The sound is clear and fills the auditorium perfectly. The set is an interesting all white, which at first you may think is a little plain, however, the use of lighting really sets the scenes and creates some much needed ambiance in just the right moments.
Well done Splinters for taking on a challenging piece and making it a success.
Copacabana is on at The Montgomery Theatre and runs until 22nd September, click here to buy tickets.
Musical Director: Steve Trotter
Director: Daniel Storey
Choreography: Sarah Mashford and Anna Hollis