Musicals through the Ages – 29 November 2017, Montgomery Theatre, Sheffield
For the second Wednesday in a row I was delighted to spend my evening in the company of SUPAS, this time at Montgomery Theatre, Sheffield to celebrate Musicals through the Ages, taking the audience on a journey through every era of musicals, from those that defined the era and make it the genre the phenomena it to their contemporaries destined to be classic musicals of the future.
Featuring 16 singers and an 18 strong band, the night was all about great music and great voices, from the moment the orchestra’s overture took everyone right back to the beginning with the instrumental music of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, through to the final performance of “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen. Stand out performances during the evening included:
Arthur Muttock and Sophie Waterhouse’s performance of “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music, featuring Rogers and Hammerstein worthy voices, innocent young love chemistry, charming choreography and a very sweet kiss.
Marie MacAninch’s performance of “My Man” from Funny Girl, which she performed with pure passion and emotion and with a powerful voice and great musical range.
Becky Muggeridge and the ensemble’s performance of “Touch-A Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which brilliantly captured the voices and attitude of the show’s characters.
The chorus’s performance of the rehearsal scene “One” from A Chorus Line, which featured crisp voices and choreography and clever musical arrangements and direction.
The chorus’s performance of “Do You Here The People Sing” from Les Miserables, full of strong and powerful voices (and flag waving) from the ensemble, with special mention going to Arthur Muttock and Zac Lewis who sung with powerful voices way beyond their years.
Zach Lewis’s stand out performance of the night of “Dentist” from my boyfriend’s favourite musical “Little Shop of Horrors”, which he sung with a great soul voice, bad boy attitude, stage presence and comedy, backed by an ensemble displaying real fear of the dentist.
The chorus’s performance of “La Vie Boheme” from Rent, which made me desperate to see the full musical and was performed with friendship, attitude and a strong 1990s vibe, which displayed the strong bond between the cast and provided the chorus’s best performance of the night.
Zach Lewis and Debbie Allen’s performance of “Sunrise” from In The Heights, which featured beautiful chemistry between the couple and beautifully innocent and powerful voices from them both, with Debbie deserving additional praise for partly singing in Spanish.
Poppy Lockwood’s performance of “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid, proved she would make a fantastic stage Disney or Panto baddie, whilst displaying a beautiful (and slightly evil) singing voice and great stage presence and acting ability.
The chorus’s performance of “When You’re An Addams” from The Addams Family, with Zach Lewis proving he makes just as amazing a Gomez Addams as he does a dentist in a number that perfectly captures the characteristics of the individual members of the Addams Family clan and provided a great introduction to SUPAS’s full version of the musical next Spring, comparing more than favourably with the same number in the recent national tour of the musical.
And last but not least the final number of the evening “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen, performed by Matthew Claypole and the chorus, with the number, full of emotion and feeling, providing the perfect showcase for Matthew’s voice as well as an unexpected great ending for the show reflecting the friendship and togetherness of the company and displaying the amazing sound of the whole chorus’s voices combined whilst a slide show in the background displayed the cast rehearsal photographs and musical posters, reminding the entire audience that we are not alone.
Although by far my stand-out performances of the night came from Zach Lewis and I can’t wait to see what he does next as I have a feeling he is destined for leading roles and to go far, I must also mention Holly Eustace who displayed a great cabaret voice, attitude and stage presence, fantastic body confidence and is a brilliant role model for plus size women wanting to get into musical theatre.
I must also praise the narrator who helped the audience along their journey through musical history, including musical trivia that will be new to even the biggest musical enthusiasts.
With the evening providing a wonderful introduction to the company enjoyed by those new and old to the world of musicals, I left the theatre looking forward to seeing what comes next for the show’s exciting young and up and coming singers.
Musicals through the Ages will be at Montgomery Theatre, Sheffield at 7.30pm for one more night only, tonight (Thursday 30 November). Tickets are £9 full price and £7 concession, available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/supas.
Sheffield University Performing Arts Society (SUPAS) is the University of Sheffield’s only society specialising in musical theatre, putting on two shows each academic year in the University Drama Studio along with a variety of workshops and other projects. Their core philosophy is to have fun and be as inclusive as possible. For further information visit www.supassheffield.com.
P.S. Buy the programme for a great, one paragraph, synopsis of every musical the songs in the show come from.