Exciting “Songs from the Shows” Concert at Shipston Proms

As part of the 17th Shipston Proms Helen Porter (Musical Director/piano) had put together an interesting and challenging selection of acts singing popular show tunes. The event took place in the Townsend Hall in Shipston-on-Stour on Friday 3rd July, in front of a large and appreciative audience. This was sponsored by Interim IT Management for Shipston Food Festival

Proms host Tim Porter started off the show with the Cotswold Concertiers (Martin Hannant, Arthur Taylor, Diana Dodd, Fiona Bates and Debbie Radley) with songs from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel including a harmony version of the Liverpool FC anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

Later in the concert individual/selected members of the Cotswold Concertiers sang Belle Notte (Lady and the Tramp), Baby Mine (Dumbo) and two more Rodgers/Hammerstein numbers Some Enchanted Evening (South Pacific) and Climb Every Mountain (The Sound of Music).

Carousel is the second musical by the team of Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (book and lyrics). The 1945 work was adapted from Ferenc Molnár's 1909 play Liliom, transplanting its Budapest setting to the Maine coastline. The show includes the well-known songs "If I Loved You", "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" and "You'll Never Walk Alone". Richard Rodgers later wrote that Carousel was his favourite of all his musicals.
It first appeared in the London West End in 1950.

Then we had a splendid solo soprano version of “If I Loved You” by Tavia Lewis, also from Carousel. Followed by Sasah Brades sing the Oliver! song “Consider Yourself”.
Oliver! is a British musical, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart. The musical is based upon the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

It premiered in the West End in 1960, enjoying a long run, and successful long runs on Broadway, tours and revivals, after being brought to the US by producer David Merrick in 1963. It was made into a musical film in 1968. Major London revivals played from 1977–80, 1994–98 and again from 2008–11.

Next up with Olivia Rawle with The Lion King song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John. The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppets. The show is produced by Disney Theatrical.

The show debuted in the West End's Lyceum Theatre on October 19, 1999 and is still running. The cast of the West End production were invited to perform at the Royal Variety Performance 2008 at the London Palladium on December 11, in the presence of senior members of the British Royal Family.

Then the show moved into Andrew Lloyd-Webber/Tim Rice (and others) territory with Harry Homer singing “Any Dream Will Do” and later Jacob & Sons, both (Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat). Elizabeth Moulson gave us a fine rendition of “Wishing You Were Show how Here Again” (Phantom of the Opera).

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical or operetta with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story is based on the "coat of many colors" story of Joseph from the Bible's Book of Genesis. It was first performed in an alternative form in 1972, and evolving over the next 3-4 years to the current version.

Then we moved in a USA mindset with Dorothy Carrington singing “As If We Never Said Goodbye” from Sunset Boulevard (Lloyd Webber/Black/Hampton) and “Someone Is Sending Me Flowers” from Showstring Review (Harnick/Baker).

Then to finish off the first half we had Robin Hammond sing “I talk to Trees” from Paint Your Waggon (Lerner/Loewe) and “Our Love is Here to Stay” from Goldwyn Follies (George and Ira Gershwin. Next we had another Rodgers & Hammerstein favourite “Honeybun” from South Pacific

Finally Jennie Hopkins and Katy Traynar gave us “What Is This Feeling” from Wicked by Stephen Schwartz. Later we were to also hear Olivia Rawle sing “Popular”, and Freya Liddell sing “I’m Not That Girl” from the same show. Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, an alternative telling of the witches from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum's classic 1900 story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The musical is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz; its plot begins before and continues after Dorothy's arrival in Oz from Kansas and includes several references to the 1939 film and Baum's novel.

After the interval we had Tavia Lewis back on to sing the Guys and Dolls song “If I were a Bell” by Frank Loesser. Following John Wheeler gave us a song from another George and Ira Gershin Show, Funny Face with “S’Wonderfull”.

Then Jennie Hopkins was back on this time with “Somewhere That’s Green” from Little Shop of Horrors (Menkin/Ashman). Little Shop of Horrors is a comedy horror rock musical, by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. The musical is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Roger Corman. The music, composed by Menken in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, "Skid Row (Downtown)", "Somewhere That's Green", and "Suddenly, Seymour".

Back next was Robin Hammond with a couple of songs, first with the My Fair Lady song “On the Seat where You Live” and then the first of songs from Les Miserables “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”. This was dedicated to late former Mayoress of Stratford Angela Holbeck, with who

Robin sang this as a duet with the Mayoress in full regalia.

Then two more Les Miserables songs, first Jennie Hopking with “Bring Him Home” and then the Cotswold Concertiers with “Do You Hear the People Sing?”. Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz is a sung-through musical based on the novel Les Misérables by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer.

Cameron Mackintosh, in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company, assembled a production team to adapt the French musical for a British audience. After two years in development, the English-language version opened in London on 8 October 1985, by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Centre, then the London home of the RSC. The success of the West End musical led to a Broadway production.

To finish the evening the whole cast of singers and the audience sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. 

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Exciting “Songs from the Shows” Concert at Shipston Proms
WiderView Visual Media, Chris Roberts 3 July 2015
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Shipston Proms 2015 Finishes with a Bang