It is highly noticeable the amount of work the Murray Bridge Players & Singers put into the organisation of this production. The cabaret set up with a bar in the theatre which was available during the performance was only one thing they did to make the audience members feel part of the entire journey. There was also tiered seating that added to the opening night full house and the free program was a bonus.
With a cast of thirty plus a band of nine it seemed a happy reunion for the performers that revisited many of the songs they had previously brought to the stage over the past ten years. One example was the reprise of Edelweiss by Karen and Noel Kneebone who played the parts of Maria and Captain Von Trapp in the original MBP&S production of “The Sound of Music”. There were also some new members such as Monika Hatcher who showed her ability as part of the ensemble or as a soloist. Added to her performance is the fact that she was also the choreographer.
Of the thirty four items presented it is difficult to to comment on every one as they all had something to give so I will therefore nominate two from each of the three acts.
Act One the opening number was Skid Row (Downtown) from “Little Shop of Horrors” with a rousing chorus that set the pace for what was to follow. Follow The Yellow Brick Road from “The Wizard of Oz” was a full ensemble number that the audience could identify with.
Act Two gave the opportunity for the boys to shine with Agony from “Into The Woods”. Their movements added to the overall effect of this number. Not to be outdone the ladies came to the fore with Defying Gravity from “Wicked”. The contrast in their voices combined to give a memorable performance.
Act Three gave the ensemble the chance to really show off not only their singing and acting but also the costumes. With these three attributes their performance of Mamma Mia Mega Mix Medley was the show stopper of the evening. Anything Goes from “Anything Goes” was led by Mari Reu with a backing from the hard working ensemble and choreography by Louise McCullough.
There was a third item in act three that could not go unnoticed that being the band’s performance of Hot Honey Rag from “Chicago”. The band had worked tirelessly all night and this number showed just how good they are. Under the Musical Direction of Zachary Wachtel, who also showed his outstanding ability on the drums, all of the thirty four items went without a hitch.
Putting this show together required a crew that had experience and this showed in every facet of the presentation from the Director Emma Love and her assistants to the bar staff and raffle ticket sellers. The sound and lighting were spot on and added to the overall presentation. If you enjoy musicals and a good night out this show should not be missed.