Performing & Production Arts students from Stratford-upon-Avon College have brought out their jazz hands and bowler hats and dazzled in a variety act in honour of the legendary artist Bob Fosse.
The cast was made up of first year students studying Musical Theatre and Dance with technical support from Backstage Production Arts students. This particular performance allowed the courses to collaborate and deliver a range of songs and short scenes from the work of Bob Fosse; a legend of stage and screen.
Robert Fosse was an American dancer, musical theatre choreographer, actor, director and film maker. He has been involved in the production of a multitude of famous works including Sweet Charity, Cabaret and Chicago. He has a distinctive style, including the famous jazz hands.
The stage was minimalist, with a simple set of steps decorated with fairy lights. The lighting states (designed and operated by Backstage Production Arts student Adam Blake) complimented each dance and made every musical number unique.
The variety act began with the show Sweet Charity and an ensemble version of Rhythm of Life which started the performance with a bang! The dance and musical theatre students operated together seamlessly. This was followed by a fun scene between students Lucie Hazzard and Rushay Miller who demonstrated great comic timing and strong vocals.
The students dazzled in a range of numbers that seamlessly flowed together under the Deputy Stage Manager Evie Bryson’s expert lead
The show then moved through The Pyjama Game, Cabaret, Dancin’, Pippin, Liza with a Z and Chicago. Audiences were kept informed of the shows by AV signs expertly designed, created and operated by Backstage Production Arts student Joe Paget and the show was punctuated by narrators giving information about Bob Fosse’s work and life.
Notable mention should be given to musical theatre student Billy Lambert, who not only played the devilishly charming Billy Flynn in Chicago for the classic number They Both Reached For The Gun, but also showed excellent conviction and energy in every ensemble number. Another excellent performance came from Ashley Marsh who showed excellent comic timing as a reporter in the same song.
In addition, the dancers showed poise, energy and attitude throughout, both as an ensemble and individually. A special mention should be given to dancer Summer Lightwood who led the number And All That Jazz; taking on the singing with aplomb as well as being a captivating lead.
Summer Lightwood led the striking number All That Jazz and every dancer shone
The overall show was a complete success; demonstrating the skill and talent that students are developing in their first year. It seems as though these students still have Magic to Do, so the College is excited to see what they get up to next!