A Night at the Oscars: Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London
Reviewed 17th February 2018
A Night at the Oscars tells of the Golden Age of Hollywood through song, dance and stories! With music from Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, Kern, Arlen, Bernstein, Mercer, Mancini, Hamlisch and more it compresses forty years of Oscar-mania into two-hours of jam-packed musical entertainment.
We’ve come to expect great things of Katy Lipson and ARIA ENTERTAINMENT. Recent productions such as Yank!, Hair and Pippin have all received amazing reviews and transferred to London. This new musical revue is another show to add to their ever-growing collection of hits. Starring Kieran Brown, Steven Dalziel, Natalie Green and Laura Sillett the audience are treated to a stylish nights entertainment.
Throughout the performance the cast show just how versatile musical theatre performers can be. Demonstrating a range of musical numbers from ‘Smile‘ which Natalie Green performs with touching emotion to ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee‘ in which Kieran Brown and Steven Dalziel channel their inner cockney to the great delight of the audience the cast excelled. Laura Sillett delivers ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow‘ with lovely tone and some of the harmonies during the show are fantastic, particularly during the moving song ‘More‘.
This production is almost a mini-documentary about the Oscars with interesting facts being intertwined with the fantastic arrangements of the nominated and winning Oscar songs from the Golden Age of Hollywood. It winds itself in chronological order from the first Oscars in 1929 until 1973 when the Golden Age is deemed to be over.
The arrangements, by Andy Collyer, are excellently thought through. Each excerpt is just the right length and the transitions between the songs have been cleverly planned. The show comprises of over 60 songs! Some are very well known, whereas others are less so. However, there is a nice mixture and there will be something for everyone in the audience.
The choreography, by Chris Cuming and Scott Hunter, is truly fitting with the show and era of the songs performed. The dances add to the performance of each song and are performed effortlessly and with grace. The use of the small stage is very effective. As is the lighting, by Aaron J Dootson, which is used to great effect throughout the show.
A Night at the Oscars will definitely appeal to many people and the high quality of the vocals throughout the show makes it great entertainment. If you are a fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood, or perhaps can even remember the Oscar favourites between 1929 and 1973 then this is a perfect night out. It features outstanding vocals and you may even learn a thing or two. Check out this musical revue while you can.
A Night at the Oscars runs at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, London until the 4th March 2018. For more information and tickets click here.
There is an additional Mother’s Day performance on the 11th March at The Radlett Centre. Click here for details.
This review was originally written and published by LondonTheatre1.
Photo Credit: Tim Hall