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Boogie Nights in Concert (Birmingham)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Last night saw Boogie Nights, staged in concert format, at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. Presented by Alan Darlow Entertainment & Jon Conway Productions, the show boasts an all-star cast taking you on a journey through the 1970s. It is currently on tour around the country and tickets are still available for most dates until the production finishes in April. Having had many performances in the West End and elsewhere, Boogie Nights had great success as a fully staged production.

Unfortunately this revised concert version has not had the greatest translation and the storyline is extremely thin; so much so that it would have worked better without. This said, the cast which features The Osmonds, Gareth Gates, Shane Richie Jnr, Andy Abraham, Chico and Louisa Lytton did a wonderful job in delivering the songs of the decade.

Most definitely the star of the evening was Shane Richie Jnr – playing Roddy - who, like his famous Dad, has real charisma and sings and dances to a very high standard. He had the audience in the palm of his hand, regardless of the other big names he is sharing the stage with. Richie Jnr particularly shines during ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ which featured backing vocals by Merrill, Jimmy and Jay from the Osmonds!

The vast majority of the audience had come to the show because of the Osmonds. Their musical interludes, where they performed a selection of their own songs and some of their favourites from back in the day, were extremely well received. They have still got good vocals and moves some thirty or so years on!

With a fair few musical credits under his belt now, Gareth Gates also did a sterling job playing Dean. He had a starring moment singing ‘Puppy Love’ with the Osmond brothers and can certainly give brother Donny a run for his money! Andy Abraham (Spencer) has the ability to make the ladies swoon with his silky tones and Chico provided light entertainment all round. The only slight disappointment was Louisa Lytton as Debs. Following her stint on Strictly Come Dancing, we know what she is capable of choreographically speaking but she was completely outshone by the three female ensemble members whose energy levels were phenomenal. Furthermore her vocals are rather weak which is a shame.

The lighting for the concert was generally well done except for the lack of face light during certain numbers. The sound, however, was appalling. It was kept under control when the cast were using handheld microphones but the transition to the radio mics was very poor and a lot of the dialogue and parts of the songs went unheard.

Overall, Boogie Nights is a fun night out and if you want a laugh and a reminisce, this show is more than worth the ticket price.

- Jenny Antill


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