Our show opened with Some Like it
Hot, from the stage musical version of the classic Billy Wilder
1959 movie of the same name.
Then we moved on to our trip down memory
lane with Back to the Sixties. Our first number, I Only Wanna Be
With You, was a hit for Dusty Springfield back in 1964. We then
slowed things down a little with the classic, A Whiter Shade of
Pale, Procul Harem's enigmatic number one hit of 1967, which
still has listeners wondering about the lyrics today. Then hey, hey it's
the Monkees! Or Showcase's take on the prefab four in the form of their
first number one, I'm a Believer. The full company then
joined in three numbers which showed the diversity of the Sixties' music
- The Kink's Waterloo Sunset, followed by the Moody Blues'
Go Now and the Mama and the Papas' California
Dreamin'. We rounded off our visit to the Sixties by performing
With a Little Help From My Friends. Originally appearing
on the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper album, the song has been covered many
times, and our version was based on Joe Cocker's performance at
Woodstock in 1969.
Our Made in Britain section paid tribute
to the contribution made by British writers to musical theatre, and
featured a wide range, with one or two surprises.
Two Little Girls from Little Rock
featured in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, based on the 1949
Broadway musical with music by London-born Jule Styne. We then stayed on
Broadway for the duet Someone Like You, from the 1997
musical version of Jekyll & Hyde by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse.
The haunting Could We Start Again Please was not in either
the original concept recording or stage musical of Tim Rice and Andrew
Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, but was an addition which
featured in the film and subsequent stage revivals. We then moved onto
the show-stopping tear-jerking As Long As He Needs Me from
Lionel Bart's Oliver! Dave Clarke's Time opened in 1986 in London
starring Cliff Richard and a hologram of Sir Laurence Olivier, and
although hugely popular at the time is now largely forgotten - we made
some amends by including One Human Family from the show.
Fings Ain't What They Used T' Be is best known as the Max
Bygraves version which featured next, but the song originally came from
Lionel Bart's musical of the same name - albeit with somewhat different
lyrics! No One But You can currently be heard in the
musical by Queen and Ben Elton, We Will Rock You. It was originally
released by Queen in 1997, six years after the death of Freddie Mercury
and is a poignant tribute. Next it's the Rocky Horror Show by Richard
O'Brien - which probably means it's the Time Warp that springs to
mind. So to be a little different, we presented the number
Whatever Happened to Saturday Night, performed by Meatloaf in
the film based on the show. We then closed the first half with
Tell Me It's Not True, the emotionally charged finale from Willy
Russell's smash hit Blood Brothers.
Moulin Rouge!, directed by Baz Luhrmann
and starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, premiered at the Cannes
film festival in May 2001. It was remarkable enough to be releasing a
big-budget musical movie in this day and age; but what was all the more
remarkable was the way the film used contemporary songs, reworked and
reset in the context of the film. We presented: Sparkling Diamonds
- based on Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend, written by Jule Styne
& Leo Robin, and recorded my Marilyn Monroe in 1951 (with a hint of
Madonna's Material Girl thrown in!) El Tango de Roxanne -
based on Roxanne, written and recorded by The Police, with additional
material written specifically for Moulin Rouge by Marianito Mores and
Lady Marmalade - written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, and
originally recorded in 1975 by Patti Labelle, and recently covered by
All Saints as well as being a hit single from Moulin Rouge. One
Day I'll Fly Away - written by Will Jennings and Joe Sample, and
originally recorded by Randy Crawford in 1980.
Like a Virgin - Madonna's 1984 hit, written by Billy
Steinberg and Tom Kelly.
Your Song - written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin,
originally released by Elton in 1971.
Next we moved into Showcase's most
familiar territory - Broadway, starting with I Wanna Be A Producer,
from the current smash hit based on Mel Brooks' film of the same name.
Our next number, wasn't strictly speaking from the Broadway stage, as
I Move On was only added to the massively successful recent film
version of Kander and Ebb's Chicago. Then we moved on, right back to the
twenties, for the Gershwin standard Stairway to Paradise.
The musical, Ragtime, by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, was not a
huge success in this country, only lasting three months on London's West
End, but it was a hit on Broadway with a three year run starting in
1997. If you weren't familiar with Ragtime, we made amends by including
Make Them Hear You from the show. Finally, we left
Broadway with one of those songs which is possibly better known outside
its musical theatre roots - The Impossible Dream, from
Mitch Leigh & Joe Darion's The Man of La Mancha.
Our final section we dubbed Heroes. The
songs in this section really needed no introduction, suffice to say that
they are our tribute to Rod Stewart, Barbara Streisand, Simon and
Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra & Sammy Davis Jr, George Michael, Luciano
Pavarotti, and finally, who else but The Beatles.