Showcase Musical Productions

Showcase 2001 Programme Notes

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Music is our First Love, the title of this year’s show, is taken from the lyric of our opening number - the epic Music. Written and recorded by John Miles, it reached number three in the charts in 1976.

Broadway Memories

The opening number of our Broadway Memories selection is Losing My Mind, which, together with the Broadway Baby Medley (Rain on the Roof, Ah Paris and Broadway Baby) are taken from Follies. Written by Sondheim, Follies opened April 4, 1971 at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway. The third Sondheim offering tonight is the enigmatic Send in the Clowns, which featured in his 1973 musical, A Little Night Music.

Sue Me and Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat are two of the well known numbers from the ever popular Guys and Dolls, by Frank Loesser and Abe Low. The show opened at the 46th Street Theatre on November 24, 1950 and enjoyed a run of 1,200 performances.

In 1911, the song Alexander’s Ragtime Band catapulted a 23-year-old composer named Irving Berlin to international stardom. Over the next five decades he wrote a succession of hits, both romantic and rousing, that included Blue Skies, Puttin’ on the Ritz and There’s No Business Like Show Business - all of which feature in tonight’s Irving Berlin Medley. He also wrote the music for three Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films, the most famous of which must be Cheek to Cheek from Top Hat, in 1933. In 1947, he also enjoyed screen success with Easter Parade, starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. Irving Berlin died in 1989 at the ripe old age of 101.

The final two numbers of our Broadway section - Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man and Old Man River - are featured in the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein musical Show Boat. Show Boat opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 27, 1927 and ran for 572 performances. It has been revived numerous times - most successfully by Hal Prince in 1994 - and spawned several film versions including the 1936 film with Irene Dunne and the 1951 version with Ava Gardner and Howard Keel.


Motown was launched by Berry Gordy in January 1959 as the Tamla Record Company, changing its name a year later to the Motown Record Corporation. By 1961 with the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and the Temptations signed to the label, a legend was in the making.

Dancing in the Street was the first hit for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas in 1964, but only became a massive hit on its reissue five years later. A cover version in 1985 by David Bowie and Mick Jagger went straight in at number one, with proceeds going to Live Aid.

Recorded by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Tracks of My Tears was a top ten hit in 1969.

Our Motown Medley tonight comprises:
I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) - first hit for the Four Tops in 1965
Reach Out (I’ll be There) - The Four Tops’ only number one from 1966
I Heard it Through the Grapevine - number one for Marvin Gaye in 1969
I’ll be There - top ten for the Jackson Five in 1970
Ain’t no Mountain High Enough - top ten for Diana Ross in 1970, shortly after going solo from the Supremes

The first half closes with What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, originally a hit for Jimmy Ruffin, back in 1966.


First held in Switzerland in 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest is the institution which has given us Abba, Riverdance, Terry Wogan’s annual dry wit, and Norway’s ‘nil points’. Here’s a few facts about the songs presented this evening:

Waterloo was, of course, Abba’s winner for Sweden in 1974. The United Kingdom came fourth that year, with Olivia Newton John’s Long Live Love.

Puppet on a String was the UK’s first winner for Sandie Shaw back in 1967.

One Step Out of Time was the UK entry in 1992, sung by housewives’ favourite Michael Ball. It came 2nd behind Ireland’s Why Me?, performed by Linda Martin.

Congratulations was the UK entry in 1968, sung by Cliff Richard. It came 2nd behind the Spanish entry - La la la.

Hold Me Now was Ireland’s 1987 winner, sung by Euro-favourite Johnny Logan. The UK entry that year was the instantly forgettable Only the Light, by Rikki, which came in fourteenth place.

1981 saw the United Kingdom’s first win in five years, with Bucks Fizz and Making Your Mind Up.

Frank and Deano

Dean Martin was born on June 7th 1917. Gaining his first recording contract in 1946 his career really took off over the next ten years with Capitol Records, including the two big hits presented tonight - That’s Amore, which peaked at number 2 in the charts in 1954, and his only UK number one Memories are Made of This, which hit the top in 1956.

Recently voted the voice of the twentieth century, Sinatra was born December 15, 1915, in Hoboken, New Jersey and in the 82 years of his life had a career so remarkable, so successful and so varied as to be impossible to sum up in a few lines. We’ve selected three numbers famously recorded by Ol Blue Eyes:
Love and Marriage, which may be better known to our younger members of the audience as the theme from the US TV comedy Married with Children, was a chart hit for Frankie back in 1956.
Lady is a Tramp is taken from the little known Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms.
What can be said about My Way? Paul Anka’s English version of 1967 French song Comme d’Habitude, it holds the record for the most number of weeks on the UK chart, and is undoubtedly Frank Sinatra’s signature tune.


Downtown was Petula Clark’s first stateside hit, reaching number one in the American charts in December 1964.

Money is probably best known in duet format as in the film Cabaret by Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey. Showcase will give you a chance to see the song as it is presented in the current Broadway revival of the Kander and Ebb show on which the film was loosely based.

Moon River is so synonymous with Andy Williams that his own theatre is named after the song.

No More Tears (Enough is Enough) was the result of a unique collaboration between Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand, reaching number three on the charts at the end of 1979.

Forever Autumn was the big hit single from Jeff Wayne’s ambitious War of the Worlds concept album in 1978. With vocals by Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, it reached number 5 in the charts.

Simon and Garfunkel’s last album together, Bridge Over Troubled Water, had a title track which was to be a massive number one hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1970.

Our final number, Somebody to Love, was the first single to be released from Queen’s A Day at the Races album, back in 1976. A year after the smash hit Bohemian Rhapsody, it peaked at number two. A performance by George Michael with the surviving members of Queen at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert in 1992 went one better, hitting the top of the charts on its release.

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