2005 – Wonderful Town

Wonderful Town, Wonderful Show
Northumberland Gazette, March 2005

I BELIEVE performing Wonderful Town was a bit of a risk for Alnwick Stage Musical Society.

Although currently enjoying a successful Broadway revival, hardly anyone outside New York has heard of the show. Due to producer Vince Hope’s passion for the musical, Alnwick Stage Musical Society brought the people of Alnwick a rare chance to see this gem. As the house lights dimmed and the band struck up to the unmistakable sound of Leonard Bernstein I knew the gamble had paid off. After a slightly shaky start the chorus went from strength to strength with fine part singing and great characterisation The story is of two sisters arriving in New York from Ohio hoping to make their fortune.

I know Lynne Lambert and Sophie McDougall (who played Ruth and Eileen) are not sisters, but while watching I was totally convinced. You always expect great singing from Alnwick Stage Musical Society, and this production was no exception, the singing was spot on. What made this show outstanding was the comic timing and acting from a cast of various characters.

Arlene Cadman as the Greek landlady was a delight. The contrast between Steven Inglis, the lecherous wannabe lover and Norman Luke as the hilarious bumbling suitor was superb. Anthony Stoker played Baker, the male romantic lead, with just the right amount of understated angst. I could go on but the list would be endless. Overall the show looked great, sounded great thanks to Peter Brown, the musical director and his fantastic jazz band, and had the audience laughing, singing and gripped till the end. That’s the thing with an unknown show, you don’t know how it will turn out. This one turned out great.

I BELIEVE performing Wonderful Town was a bit of a risk for Alnwick Stage Musical Society.
Although currently enjoying a successful Broadway revival, hardly anyone outside New York has heard of the show. Due to producer Vince Hope’s passion for the musical, Alnwick Stage Musical Society brought the people of Alnwick a rare chance to see this gem. As the house lights dimmed and the band struck up to the unmistakable sound of Leonard Bernstein I knew the gamble had paid off. After a slightly shaky start the chorus went from strength to strength with fine part singing and great characterisation The story is of two sisters arriving in New York from Ohio hoping to make their fortune.

I know Lynne Lambert and Sophie McDougall (who played Ruth and Eileen) are not sisters, but while watching I was totally convinced. You always expect great singing from Alnwick Stage Musical Society, and this production was no exception, the singing was spot on. What made this show outstanding was the comic timing and acting from a cast of various characters.

Arlene Cadman as the Greek landlady was a delight. The contrast between Steven Inglis, the lecherous wannabe lover and Norman Luke as the hilarious bumbling suitor was superb. Anthony Stoker played Baker, the male romantic lead, with just the right amount of understated angst. I could go on but the list would be endless. Overall the show looked great, sounded great thanks to Peter Brown, the musical director and his fantastic jazz band, and had the audience laughing, singing and gripped till the end. That’s the thing with an unknown show, you don’t know how it will turn out. This one turned out great.

I BELIEVE performing Wonderful Town was a bit of a risk for Alnwick Stage Musical Society.
Although currently enjoying a successful Broadway revival, hardly anyone outside New York has heard of the show. Due to producer Vince Hope’s passion for the musical, Alnwick Stage Musical Society brought the people of Alnwick a rare chance to see this gem. As the house lights dimmed and the band struck up to the unmistakable sound of Leonard Bernstein I knew the gamble had paid off. After a slightly shaky start the chorus went from strength to strength with fine part singing and great characterisation The story is of two sisters arriving in New York from Ohio hoping to make their fortune.

I know Lynne Lambert and Sophie McDougall (who played Ruth and Eileen) are not sisters, but while watching I was totally convinced. You always expect great singing from Alnwick Stage Musical Society, and this production was no exception, the singing was spot on. What made this show outstanding was the comic timing and acting from a cast of various characters.

Arlene Cadman as the Greek landlady was a delight. The contrast between Steven Inglis, the lecherous wannabe lover and Norman Luke as the hilarious bumbling suitor was superb. Anthony Stoker played Baker, the male romantic lead, with just the right amount of understated angst. I could go on but the list would be endless. Overall the show looked great, sounded great thanks to Peter Brown, the musical director and his fantastic jazz band, and had the audience laughing, singing and gripped till the end. That’s the thing with an unknown show, you don’t know how it will turn out. This one turned out great.

C Bradshaw

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