Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Review: Jukebox musical is good but doesn't live up to its predecessor
PACKED with gloriously executed tunes and a thought-provoking plot, Save the Last Dance For Me is a shining example in the ever increasing ‘jukebox musical’ crowd – even if it lacks the punch of its predecessor.
The jukebox musical has become something of a theatrical phenomenon over the past decade, none more so than Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran’s almost genre-defining productions.
Save The Last Dance For Me follows on from the duo’s successful formula they conjured up in the excellent Dreamboats and Petticoats. Last Dance picks up that baton and runs with it.
It tells the tale of two sisters from Luton - a young, naive grammar school pupil and her older ditsy factory sibling - who set off to 1960s Lowestoft in hope of summer holiday romance.
They get chatted up by an American serviceman who invites them to a dance at a nearby US base, where the younger sister Marie falls for a black US Air Force officer named Curtis.
The plot depicts how the two young lovers battle racial discrimination and social ideologies at a time when segregation was widespread in the US and interracial relationships were unheard of in the UK.
While the storyline is enjoyable, it is purely used as a vehicle, sprinkled in-between songs, to show off the hit-packed Pomus and Shuman soundtrack.
But if you’re heading for a night out at a jukebox musical, the music is what you’re interested in right? Well, Last Dance doesn’t disappoint.
The vocals from the talented cast of predominately up-and-coming actors are excellent throughout - even if their American/Luton accents leave you scratching your head at times - and the on-stage band is superb.
However, the musical performances that stood out and had the audience purring with approval were the three acapella barbershop-style songs – with the Sweets For My Sweets segment stealing the show.
Save The Last Dance For Me had Wycombe Swan theatregoers singing and dancing in their seats last night. It may lack the sparkle of Dreamboats, the last hit out of Bill Kenwright’s stable, but it is great fun nonetheless.
If a trip down memory lane is your thing, it doesn’t get much better than Save The Last Dance For Me – which continues at the Swan this week.
Save The Last Dance for Me is at the Wycombe Swan from July 16-21 at 7.30pm with Wed and Sat matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets range from £15 to £27. To book call 01494 512000 or go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk.
For more leisure stories go to the Freetime section of the website, where you will find what's on listings, gigs, reviews and interviews.