Step back in time to the swinging sixties and immerse yourself in the sweet love story of young Marie and her heart-throb American soldier Curtis.
Marie (Elizabeth Carter) is taken away on her holidays with the supervision of her scandalous older sister Jennifer (Lola Saunders), the sisters escape their hometown of Luton to a caravan in Lowestoft. Away from their parents, Jennifer has her eye on the soldiers although Marie is afraid of how the men will treat her after her parents warned her. They experience the greatest summer holiday of their lives as Marie falls desperately in love with handsome soldier Curtis (Jason Denton.)
Although the script appears slightly weak and predictable, the main attraction for the audience is the music, which is performed sensationally. With a live band on stage, it creates a highly atmospheric production that encourages the audience to sing and dance along. Aside from the tremendous live music, the production incorporates acapella numbers which are highly effective, with tight harmonies and strong vocals, the barber shop style echoes beautifully around the theatre.
X Factor star Lola Saunders showcases her remarkable vocals and impressive lungs as Jennifer throughout the show, mixing her contemporary vocals with jazzy tones, she gives the iconic sixties hits a modern edge. Saunders oozes sass as the strong-minded older sister, despite her flirtatious nature, particularly towards the seductive soldier Milton (Antony Costa).
Elizabeth Carter exudes charm as Marie, an innocent young girl experiencing love for the first time. Superbly cast for the role, Carter captures the hearts of the audience with her sweet solos.
Jason Denton who plays Curtis is an outstanding vocal talent, every musical number is slick as he performs with a smooth soulful tone. He particularly shines in the passionate number Lonely Avenue, Denton’s characterisation is emotively compelling. Alongside him, his friend and trusted right-hand man Milton is played convincingly by Antony Costa. Their vivacious energy gives the performance essential pace, and their comedy timing is excellent as a duo.
Alan Howell plays the Italian/Brummy ice cream vendor Carlo with a thick Wolverhampton accent, he provides a lot of humour in the show as the dim-witted young man who falls foolishly for Jennifer. His lack of intelligence creates some of the stronger one-liners in the production, not to mention his Brummy accent had the local audience in hysterics.
Save The Last Dance For Me is an animated musical bursting with charisma, packed with quintessential 60s swing, but above all it is an endearing story about young love.
On at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham until the 21st of May, tickets can be found here.