Seaside Special: Celebration, Cromer
RICHARD BATSON The 'flipside' of Cromer's famous summer show at the Pavilion Theatre has begun – brings more sunshine to the seafront than the weather itself.
The 'flipside' of Cromer's famous summer show at the Pavilion Theatre has begun – and two weeks into the season it brings more sunshine to the seafront than the weather itself.
As usual there is some doubling up of gags and routines from the first show Party of a Lifetime – but the second, alternating programme called Celebration is for the most part entirely different.
It lacks the consistent vim and vigour of the first, but produces one of the season's highlights in a superb Fiddler on the Roof routine, which brings together all the Special's best features – colour, energy, strong voices, slick dancing, stunning sets and costumes and a dash of humour.
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Newcomer comic Tucker continues to have the audience in hoots with his silly and cheeky gags – all the more impressive as he is shouldering the humour burden without the traditional second comedian as a foil.
But there is more to the man than his quickfire jokes and his little boy lost pathos, for Tucker has a fine singing voice and a natural repartee with the audience.
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Sharing top billing is violinist Gary Lovini, whose soaring notes and nimble fingers bridge a broad repertoire from jigs and classics to an atmospheric piece from the film Schindler's List.
Versatility is also the key for vocalist Vicki Carr, whose crystal-clear voice is equally at home in the guise of Eva Peron or a Disney mermaid, while her dancing skills mean she can also blend effortlessly into the energetic and graceful Robert Marlowe Dancers.
Male singer Chris Harley is more comfortable with big ballads than a brief flirtation with disco, particularly with a powerful version of This Is the Moment from the musical Jekyll and Hyde, while the lightning feet and electric smile of tap dancer Maurice Kachuk brings thunderous applause for the second season running.
Show Two, with a slightly more cultured and classical feel, is a contrast to Show One.
Maybe it is best summed up in a tribute slot for the music of Kander and Ebb – of whom I suspect most people have probably never heard. It included some singalong moments from well-known shows such as Cabaret and Chicago, but also some from more obscure productions that were pleasant without lifting the holiday heart.