Review: Copacabana, Cromer Pier

Copacabana, Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society. Picture: ERIC BRICKLES

Copacabana, Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society. Picture: ERIC BRICKLES - Credit: Archant

Copacabana

Copacabana, Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society. Picture: ERIC BRICKLES

Copacabana, Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society. Picture: ERIC BRICKLES - Credit: Archant

Cromer Pier

Music and passion are always in fashion at the Copacabana says Barry Manilow's lyrics.

Copacabana, Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society. Picture: ERIC BRICKLES

Copacabana, Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society. Picture: ERIC BRICKLES - Credit: Archant

And they always are in the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic Society's annual musical too.

So it was an apt, if brave, choice by the group, after a spate of seat-filling standards to tackle this show - which is heavy on dance and light on plot.

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It is loosely based on the crooner's pulsating Latin hit - a tale of showgirls, gangsters and love.

The story should be sponsored by Kraft, it is so thin and cheesy.

But it is the spectacle of feather-draped showgirls, and choreography as bright as the glittering costumes, that are the backbone of this show.

There was rumba, samba, tap, even a steamy balletic bolero, in numbers that tested an 'am dram' cast.

Choreographer Carole Beatty, leading by example, coached the best out of her troops - some of whom brought their dance skills to the fore, while others were stretched to new levels.

Paul Allum impressed with a fine singing voice in the role of singer -songwriter tony, with Annabelle Abendroth, as his dream girl Lola, combined a sweet voice with silky dance moves in her first leading musical role.

Praise too for the sparkling supporting roles of Andrea Wilson as the bubbly cigarette girl Gladys and Nick Bird as the brash but comedic night club owner Sam silver.

Matt Scantlebury extracted panto baddie boos with his performance as rival Rico and Claire Reynolds was excellent as his wife, playing an aging star in Havana's Tropicana club who is danger of being ousted by young incomer Lola - a part played with venom, humour and compassion in equal measure.

The show, which runs until Saturday, is a bit of a one-song wonder. But, as ever, the CSODs, and director Chrissie Robertson, make it an entertaining and endearing escape.

Who could ask for more?

Richard Batson

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