Puttin' on the Ritz is a song that was originally written by Irving Berlin back in 1927. It now forms part of the musical repertoire in a song and dance extravaganza of the same name. Featuring beloved musical numbers from Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and George Gershwin, it combines all of the iconic songs from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
In Liverpool Empire Theatre this week, special guest stars include Robin Windsor, Anya Garnis, Trent Whiddan and Gordanna Frandosek from Strictly Come Dancing and Ray Quinn, runner up in the 2006 series of The X Factor.
Quinn serenaded us with numbers like Let There Be Love and Mr Bojangles- if you closed your eyes he sounded very like Sinatra at times. His voice sounds effortless and he looked very comfortable on stage while he showed us how his talent knows no bounds with a tap number at the end.
The stage was simple; a staircase at either side, a long black curtain lit up with twinkly lights and a screen playing old black and white movies during the intermission. There was no need for anything more as the singers and dancers provided all the visuals with their dazzling costumes, voices and impressive dance routines.
Hannah Grover and Lucy Van Gasse particularly stood out for me- especially when they each performed their respective solo songs. Summertime and My Man were a highlight for me as the women each had the opportunity to shine on their own. Their songs were far from easy but their vocal ranges were simply breath-taking.
The musical was much like an extended episode of Strictly Come Dancing in many places- memorable songs, perfect choreography and beautiful costumes. Anyone who loves to watch the show on a Saturday night needs to buy a ticket. I say this not only for the two couples who have appeared in the programme before but for the key elements that make it synonymous with the show.
There was an opportunity for the performance to follow the same format throughout; however the people behind the scenes have clearly worked hard to keep each new number fresh and engaging. Bringing the Strictly dancers and Ray Quinn on board provided something different and meant that the musical gained momentum with every new scene; it just got better and better as the night went on.
Puttin' on the Ritz transports you to another time and place and last night I wanted to stay there!
'Puttin On The Ritz delivered a brilliant and nostalgic night out! The audience loved every single minute of this show. The singing was top class, and the dancing even better.'
'A glittering extravaganza that has the audience cheering for more.'
Norwich evening news
'A decadent visual treat. A wonderful reminder of times gone by.'
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