With a title like that, you would expect exactly what the audience saw, heard and so obviously enjoyed from the six performers in this lively, humorous and beautiful show.
Rhett (shades of a young and, oh so slim, Fred Astaire) and Emma Salmon opened with an example of the precise ballroom dancing that made them World Dance Council Champions for two consecutive years – later to be joined by Jeremy Schneider and Jayne Di Bella, this year's Queensland champions. The colourful and swirling costumes worn by the beautiful women dancers were breathtaking and the immaculate men's suits were something we have come to expect with displays of ballroom dancing.
Somewhat burlier, but genial and at home in his role as compere and tenor, Lachlan Baker started with "The Impossible Dream" from "The Man of La Mancha" and we were away on a trip that took us on a happy nostalgic journey through musicals that have left us with melodies, evoking tears and smiles that stay with us throughout our lives. Andrew Lloyd Weber's music reminded us what a glorious legacy he has given us in the way of memorable music and a sprinkling of operatic favourites such as from" La Traviata" and "Carmen" reminded us of what stunning music there is in the world. Lachlan, without handkerchief, reminded us of the late great Luciano Pavorotti with "Nessun Dorma", of Dean Martin with "Sway" and we were somewhat surprised to hear from him that Elvis did not finally leave the building entirely in 1977, instead making Queanbeyan his permanent home.
Sure enough, the King tottered out and shook his aged pelvis at us with some of his songs. Lachlan's most memorable performance was of the difficult and haunting "Bring him home" from "Les Miserables." Liza Beamish did not seem entirely comfortable in her bantering role with Lachlan, nor with some of the songs, more at ease with the operatic ones, as is so often the case with operatically trained voices singing songs out of that genre, and most of her costumes were not in keeping with the standard of the show. Lachlan's breath control went astray at times and the passage from item to item was not quite seamless. However, it was an enjoyable show, certainly worth seeing, and you may be able to do so as it continues its tour. The next performance is at the Frankston Arts Centre on the 10th November.
Liza Beamish with Christine Harris and HIT Productions
From Broadway to Ballroom
Venue: Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre ACT
Dates: 26 – 28 October 2017
Tickets: $52.00 – $47.00