That’s Entertainment

31.05.16 – 04.06.16 @The Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh

07.06.16 – 11.06.16 @ Theatre Royal, Glasgow

£17.90 – £41.40

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The producers of “Putting on the Ritz” have collaborated again to bring us “That’s Entertainment”. A glittering cabaret of high calibre performing artists, guest starring Jane MacDonald while showing in Edinburgh, and Elaine C Smith while in Glasgow.

The show moves through the era of 40’s and 50’s music delivering hits from both sides of the pond, in a traditional cabaret style; sure to be recognisable by ears of all ages, and certain to make for some shoulder swinging, bum chair wiggling fun for all the family to enjoy.

Classic sing alongs can be expected, with all the jazz you could hope to tap your feet to. The backdrop moves from the streets of Broadway, to a Rat Pack hosting club interior, with some under star dancing along the way.

Mesmerising dance moves and pitch perfect singing are standard throughout. Some of the routines could have been slightly tighter, but much forgiveness was granted as new venues must take time to be warmed into. The professionalism of the company really shone through as each performer brought a superb array of skill to the stage. Calves may ache just watching tap shoes proverbially smoulder, and some of the leg kicks may make your hips feel grateful for the comfy chair they are rested in.

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Jane MacDonald was actually hilarious, and what a set of lungs! Belting her tunes out, Jane performed as though chords were dancing on the tip of her tongue, while patiently waiting for her never-ending breath to carry them out in perfect harmony. Excellent stuff. The other artists on stage did justice to all the stars they paid tribute to, both in looks and by sound. The stamina and strength is truly inspiring, as this is a very energetic performance; lots of dancing and singing live, at the same time.

A clever microphone design stopped any breath feedback occurring, and is very complimentary to the costume design, but does make the general overall sound a little softer. The background music may be a little quieter than expected too, in compensation as a result of this, and is probably not helped by the Playhouse being such a large venue. But do not fret – it is not uncomfortably quiet; however, if you do use a device you may wish to crank it up a wee notch before the show begins. Of course, it would have been better all round in sound quality and atmosphere, if a live band had been part of the show. But, it was still super fun as it was, and the performers definitely have enough panache to quickly distract away from any notice of band absence.

The costumes were brilliant! From penguin suits to sailors, and can-can girls to a fabulous homage of British Royal couture; which looked like Mary Poppins and the Queen from Alice in Wonderland had hooked up over a bottle of wine and a sewing machine; great designs! Lots of glitz, lots of glamour, but I should warn you – Some of the outfits may not be suitable for epileptics. I was nearly dazzled out by some of Jane MacDonald’s numbers; one in particular completely hypnotised me, in which Jane looked like she had been wrapped in a piece sky, from above Edinburgh Castle during the bells at Hogmanay! Sparkle mania!

Reviewer : Bobbi Mckenzie

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