Having recently won the Guide award for Best Musical for Beauty and the Beast, one would expect Portsmouth Players’ follow-up to that magnificent show to hit the dizzy heights.
Sadly Copacabana at the Kings this week doesn’t quite cut the mustard – but it should. If you analyse the parts involved in the whole, it should all fall into place: direction by John Bettesworth; impressive choreography by Jackie Willis; a very sharp band under the direction of Ian Peters; a talented cast. So what’s missing?
The opening-night performance seemed to lack conviction. Andrew Warner (Tony) always charms and plays the comedy well and Emma Wilson (Lola) sings mightily – but you could drive a bus between them during their passionate clinch. Chris Brooke, Sarah Pilbeam and Roger Keevil give great supporting characters.
But the show belongs to the wonderful Simone Denby, whose Conchita is a fizzing firework display. More of her, please.