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"Forbidden Broadway" is a show it is difficult to write a review for, as there is so much going on – however, my overall impression was that DAOS got the fun and irreverence of the piece well, with some lovely voices and harmonies – lifting it from purely humour, to something that was pleasing on the ear and to be appreciated as such.

The static set worked well, however, I would have loved there not to be any blackouts between songs – there was no need as there were no sets to change - and I always think that blackouts (if not absolutely necessary) take away the momentum and lose the audience’s attention slightly.

David Morton created some lovely musical moments and entered into the fun of the piece as well, I loved the occasional looks from the cast to accompanist when he appeared to get carried away, small things that really added to the enjoyment.

The audience really entered into the spirit of the production, and laughed a lot, the references in the lib were very relevant and well-observed.

I particularly liked Susan Young's Annie – excellent from the moment she walked on stage, costume, hair and demeanour were exactly right, the audience derived a lot of fun from this scene.

Josh Thompson also proved his worth again – giving us a good Cat – and a super Mrs Turnblatt.  Josh is really expanding his portfolio of roles, and each with increasing attention to detail, which is good to see.  He always gives the impression of enjoying what he does, which relays itself to the audience, and there is no apology for his sometimes OTT portrayals when required within a piece.

Alana McKenna was a little quiet in relation to the others on stage – but it translated well in most cases – she perhaps needed a little more volume in the Wicked section, as Mel Ramsey showed both power and control in her rendition of the music, both here and in the other items where she took the lead.  Lovely to see Mel really taking a hold on the music and giving it her all.

Alana looked lovely in the final scene – the costume suited her and was utterly charming.

Katie Elliott proved once again that she is a good allrounder – tackling various different types of character – I particularly liked her Chicago number with Josh and Simon Rollings, and also the Les Mis extract.

Simon Rollings came into his own for Les Mis, which was really funny – and also for the Hairspray excerpt – both differing characterisations, which he did well.

Paul Ramsey showed once again the power in his voice, unfortunately most of the numbers he did were fairly similar so we didn't get the contrasts that we perhaps got from the others.  But that said, he looked elegant when required, and I really liked the Fiddler number – everyone was involved, with Paul leading and it was a very good, tuneful section, with lots of interest and humour.

Barbara Morton gave us a powerful Dolly, in the manner of Carol Channing – with Josh and Simon assisting!  Barbara also showed a different side to her talents when she joined Mel for the Mamma Mia extract.  Both well done.

Chris Young appeared in a few guises - I liked the Mary Poppins extract with Susan Young – who got her tongue round some quite complicated lyrics!

The Spamalot section was also extremely well thought out and executed, with Hairspray, one of my favourite musicals of all time giving us a great lead into the finale.

The choreography was well-constructed, and suited both the music and the abilities of the cast.

The costumes throughout were very good – colourful, relevant and crisp, with some lovely wigs and hairstyles from Gary Bates – always a feature of DAOS productions.

I hope that this production did its job as a fund-raiser for DAOS, as it certainly deserved its place as a well-presented, well-performed show, with lots of fun for both the cast and the audience, belying the hard work the cast must have put in to get it to that standard in the first place.

Dunstable Amateur Operatic Society


review date: 22nd May 2013

Little Theatre, Dunstable

Director & MD: Chris Young

Choreographer: Wendy Baker


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