York Musical Theatre Company are presenting their tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein at Joseph Rowntree Theatre.
Interesting snippets of the story behind Rodgers and Hammerstein’s partnership interspersed the song selections and providing a fascinating insight for the audience.
Something Wonderful by York Musical Theatre Company
Joseph Rowntree Theatre
Till Sat Oct 21
The show focuses on five of their biggest musicals, Oklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific and The Sound of Music in chronological order.
Each segment is around 15 minutes long and takes a love song, chorus and selection of popular songs, blending them together in a mix of solos, duets and chorus.
Some of the choruses were haunting in their melodies. At times I almost expected the audience to join in and sing along with some of the classic hits.
It wasn’t quite what we were expecting as we’d thought it would be a series of mini sketches in costume. Rather it’s a musical evening, with the ensemble dressed in smart evening gowns and dinner jackets, with a change of outfit in the second half.
With clever lighting the stage shone and sparkled as the lights caught the jewels on the gowns and around the female cast members necks and wrists.
The company love their music, as was evident from the smiles on their faces. They added simple yet effective choreography at times, enhancing the mood of the songs.
Unusually the musical accompaniment was on stage rather than the musical pit, and featured Paul Laidlaw, the musical director on the piano, along with a bass cello and drums and percussion.
As always with Joseph Rowntree Theatre the sound quality was excellent, and the strong voices had no issues being heard above the music.
Through the evening familiar and favourite songs from these musicals bring back many happy memories, although I was surprised to find You’ll Never Walk Alone was a Rodgers and Hammerstein song and not as modern as I had believed.
I don’t envy Paul Laidlaw having to narrow down the song selection from such prolific and talented writers, in his own words he selected a vignette of each musical. It works well. For musical lovers, it runs till Saturday (October 21) at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre.