Copacabana, Strode Theatre, Street

I HAVE just spent a couple of days with 17 of my school friends, girls/women I have know for upwards of 60 years, all now retired except me.

“Why are you still working” they said.  “I am passionate about live performances. I love the theatre. I really would miss it, and I keep being asked to review,” I replied.

Then I went to the Glastonbury and Street Musical Society’s production of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana, on at Strode Theatre in Street until Saturday …

Is it time to throw in the towel?

As reviewers so often say in justifying their work “It is only MY opinion.”

And if the packed house of people whooping and ululating (the current form of expressing praise) was anything to go by,  I was in the very small minority.

The show is inexcusably dreadful. Maybe if you are/were a Manilow fan you might love it just for the “tunes” (sic). I’m sure if your nearest of dearest was in the hard working cast you would have wanted to express your support.

But otherwise … puh-leeze.

Directed here by Laura Grace and Will Taylor, with Luke Holman in charge of the music and Sarah Neale of the dancing, the large cast was exotically and colourfully dressed, and did a lot of routines.

The stage came to electric life every time Elspeth Salman came on. Her performance as Gladys did all it could to save the titanically awful show.

Matthew Maisey was a gleefully caricature Bad Hombre from Cuba, and Anna Gifford enjoyed being the aging Conchita. Matt Turner had some funny moments.  Jess Russell and James Newton were the romantic leads around whom the “story” revolves.

“The songs are tuneless
the lyrics witless
and however it has lasted
I can’t fathom”
(you can sing that to the Lola song, which seems to have an almost identical tune to that of the title number, or was it the title number?)

Sorry, but this is a very talented and hardworking company, capable of great things. Why, why, why would anyone chose this rubbish for them to perform.

I overheard a stalwart of the society saying in the interval. “Isn’t it great. It’s a whole new concept for a show.”

Perhaps they won’t invite me again.



Here is a response from a Mr Andy J Pickford, who might like to read About Us.
Re GP-W review of Copacabana
The answer to her question “Is it time to throw in the towel?”, the answer is a definitive YES.
She must be so out of touch with musical theatre that I am surprised the FTR still accept reviews from her.
To show how out of touch she is, ask her to read this review from someone with far more knowledge and experience…
This review is backed up by the standing ovations and applause of the audiences every night.

Yes, throw in the towel and retire like your friends.

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