REVIEW: Save The Last Dance for Me – King’s Theatre Glasgow 10th March 2012

From the writers, producers & directors who brought you Dreamboats and Petticoats. Save the Last Dance for Me will take you back through the ‘music and magic’ of the early 60’s, a time when each passing week brought another Rock ‘n’ Roll classic.

This nostalgic, feel-good musical journey will transport you back to music’s golden era as we follow two teenage sisters, Jennifer and Marie, through the summer of 1963.

Full of freedom and high spirits they embark on a family holiday to the coast and a traditional seaside town. The young siblings soon discover much more than just sea and sand when they meet a handsome American airman, who invites them to a dance at the nearby United States Air force base.

Young love and holiday romance is never that simple and the sisters soon realise that while the world around them is still watching itself in black and white, life and love can be much more colourful.

 

Last year I went to see Dreamboats and Petticoats when it embarked on its UK tour, as it was one of only two things I hadn’t seen in London. Now it wasn’t the most taxing storyline to follow, given that there really wasn’t a story, and the one that they did have they seemed to forget about half way through, and then only remembered they had better get back to it before the finale. Despite all this it was a nice piece of escapist, entertaining fun and the music and the enthusiastic cast more than carried it through.

This time the writers, knowing that it’s the songs that this type of show depends upon, plunder the back catalogue of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman – who wrote, among others things; Sweets For My Sweet, (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame, Teenager In Love, Turn Me Loose, Rag Doll, Some Kind of Wonderful, Can’t Get Used to Losing You, Viva Las Vegas as well as the title song. This is a smorgasbord of ear-candy pop songs.

As with Dreamboats and Petticoats this features a seven-piece, on stage band which gives the production a dynamic feel. The cast of young unknowns are led by Jason Denton as Curtis, Megan Jones as Marie, A J Dean as Milton and Hannah Frederick as Jennifer. Denton has a lovely tone to his voice but, as with the female lead Jones, his voice is underpowered. Hannah Frederick however, really encapsulates the authentic feel of the times as big sister Jennifer and has a clear strong voice. If this was your era you will absolutely love it as it’s a full-on charge through the hits of the early sixties, and even if it isn’t, it still has enough charm and energy to bring a smile to your face.