Barry Manilow’s Copacabana
RICHARD PARR Fakenham Community Centre
Wow! this stunning show was a great choice for FADLOS to mark its four decades of entertaining theatre-goers and certainly proved that music and passion is still very much in fashion judging from the enthusiastic response from Tuesday's first night audience.
It is a musical that has it all - great show-stopping musical numbers, a good storyline, pathos, comedy, fabulous costumes, stunning sets and, most importantly, some talented leading players.
Ben Francis is cast in the demanding role of Stephen/Tony Forte and his powerful voice and stage presence do justice to some of the big musical numbers which are performed at a breathtaking pace.
With seven scene changes in the first act and a further seven in the second the required momentum is interrupted somewhat but the slick choreography from both the troupe of leggy lovelies (not forgetting some boys) and the set pieces more than make up for that.
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Paula Tuck is wonderful as Samantha/Lola La Mar with a strong voice and she milks her comic role to maximum effect.
There are strong performances from Richard Tree as the villainous Rico, playing opposite Lorraine George as Conchita. Grant Harrison is well cast as Sam Silver and Lucy Ferris is wonderful as Gladys. Director Jackie Overton and musical director Roger Daniel deserve congratulations for such a stunning show. Paula Tuck and Maria Cutting worked to produce some slick dance routines.
It all heads towards the colourful and lively finale which, in my book is worth the ticket price alone.
t Copacabana continues until Saturday May 19. Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 01328 855654.