Playhouse, Hastings

Season ends on Saturday

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-A Night in Vegas

Theatre Hawke's Bay

Playhouse, Hastings

Season ends on Saturday

It was A Night in Vegas - the gorgeous showgirls with long legs and sequins, feather plumes and fabulous dance routines legging it on stage with the showboys.

Singing was a major feature of the show with the vocalists centre stage in one number followed quickly by another.

The dance and singing troupe numbered 24 and they worked very hard, never looked tired and always managed to smile as they high kicked and pirouetted around the stage.

Rather to my surprise I really loved this show. A Night in Vegas sounded like it would be a clich cabaret song-and-dance show and that is exactly what it was - but it was slick and very entertaining.

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True, the first few numbers were a bit underwhelming but this was the dress rehearsal - the first time in front of a full house - and it was a delight to see the young performers' confidence grow as the evening moved into the next gear.

It's a terrifically varied musical score with popular Lady Gaga and Madonna covers through to the 1930s Fred Astaire standard Putting on the Ritz with all the tap dancing that goes with it.

Some fine acrobatic dance routines were featured in the extended circus bracket, with clowning and mime, which raised lots of laughter and applause and kicked off the second half with a flourish.

There were some challenging songs that stretched the vocals of some of the singers but without a doubt the performances grew in sophistication.

Especially notable were the mature female singer/performers who blossomed as self-assured and comedic artistes to match their blowsy, risqu routines.

The five-piece band did a great job, too, although the female vocalists struggled to be heard at times and the sound could have been more sympathetic in those brackets.

This is the first Theatre Hawke's Bay show directed by Born to Move Studio owner-director Corinne Bowey.

It was a huge commitment for her as she was also responsible for making most of the costumes, the choreography and the dance tuition. Working closely with Bowey was musical director Amanda Couper and the singers, all of whom are based in Hawke's Bay.

It is 10 years since this kind of show has been performed at the Playhouse and it was a welcome return of an entertainment genre so ideally suited to the end-of-year functions.

Show details

Show and dinner $60; Show, coffee and cake $3; matinee $35.

Tickets from Eventfinda