A Sweet Show


Walmsley Church Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society

Until May 4

IT is sixty years since the perennial favourite “Some Like It Hot” hit the movie screens starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and the much-loved story is recreated faithfully in this light-hearted, entertaining musical – interspersed with appropriate jaunty songs, of course!

The Bolton premiere (with book by Peter Stone, music by Julie Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill) tells the story of Joe and Jerry, two musicians looking for employment who unwittingly witness a mob killing on St Valentine’s Day in Chicago and have to go on the run to Florida avoid a similar fate from the pursuing gangsters. The only trouble is that their only point of refuge is an all-girl band!

Cue for two uncannily convincing portrayals of female musicians by the talented Steve Benson and David Wilson, who combine effortless singing with great comic acting to provide two very entertaining characterisations indeed. Benson also portrays the “Tony Curtis as Cary Grant” suitor “Jew-nior” with ease, whilst Wilson’s excellent facial expressions are Jack Lemmon reborn.

Also excelling is Adrienne Wormald as the sweet and sexy Sugar Kane, again reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe’s character from the film, combining a delivery of innocent charm with a certain world wise pragmatism and a lovely singing voice.

Wonderful support comes from Mike Taylor as a very amusing Sir Osgood Fielding (delivering a great punch line at the end of the show), Vicki Wilson as the alternately sycophantic and acerbic Sweet Sue (owner of the girl band), David Witt as the downtrodden myopic band manager Bienstock and Andrew Turton as cigar-chewing gangster leader Spats Palazzo. The chorus have some catchy numbers which they perform with aplomb, and provide a range of ancillary characters including gangsters, elderly millionaires, chorus girls and hotel staff.

Notable praise is due to Mary Pycroft’s costumes. From the opening number displaying a dazzling array of sparkling ruby red, through a wonderfully colourful set of beach outfits and ending with a royal blue ensemble, the costumes were both appropriate and eye-catching. Lara Sydall’s choreography, John West and team’s efficient stage management, lighting by Norman Bowers and John Cocking and appropriate properties from Anne Cocking all added to the slick success that was this production.

Director Nora Howcroft and Musical Director Tim Power (assisted by Tom Bowes and with a wonderful orchestra) should be justifiably proud of this colourful, entertaining offering from a talented society. Runs until Saturday.

Peter Haslam