That’s Entertainment is a touring production and musical extravaganza that showcases an array of classics from the 30s, 40s and 50s, led by a different special guest at each venue.
The production showcases the best of the stage and screen musicals from the golden era, including songs from the iconic composers Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter.
Birmingham were lucky enough to be graced with the extraordinarily talented Ruthie Henshall, a musical theatre icon both in the West End and Broadway. After a remarkable career as leading lady in productions such as Cats, Chicago and Crazy For You, she took to the stage with her powerhouse vocals and swept the audience off their feet.
Ruthie performs a catalogue of hits including All That Jazz and Someone To Watch Over Me. Her performance is vocally sublime and utterly captivating, each number has distinct characterisation and gives you a real insight into her extensive career and the variety of parts she has played. A highlight of the evening is her rendition of Some People from Gypsy which oozes charisma and charm.
In-between numbers Ruthie chats to the audience, she comes across excellently funny and highly approachable. She talks about her career highlights, stories about growing up and how different musicals have a special place in her heart. Her warmth is delightfully endearing which leads to her arrival on stage every time greeted with a mighty applause.
The production also features four leading vocalists Loula Geater, Simon Schofield, Emma Kate Nelson and Sean Smith. They display their exceptional vocals through a multitude of musical theatre numbers, dressed head to toe in dazzling costumes, taking you right back through time to an era of jazzy music and impressive dance. The lead vocalist’s rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone is a powerfully emotive performance, the harmonies are tight and their vocals blend to create a beautifully rich sound.
It’s a spectacular production that is enhanced by the truly electrifying ensemble. Every single number is charged with passion and energy, the dancers are animated and perform the dynamic movement immaculately.
The choreography by Emma Rogers and Innis Robertson is simply stunning – particularly the intricate tap sequences that are performed faultlessly. The movement is precise yet impeccably stylish, creating a rapturous display of impressive dance. Each number flows fluidly into the next, with an array of costumes that thoroughly echo the time period and setting of each musical.
It’s a shame not to have the strength of the vocals backed by a live orchestra, sometimes the backing tracks had synthetic tap shoe sounds that distract from the actual tap dancing itself.
Described as a song and dance extravaganza, That’s Entertainment will have you tapping your toes whilst reminiscing on your old musical theatre favourites.
On at the New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday the 23rd of July, tickets can be found here.