Reel-to-Real: The Movies Musical (3 stars)

This article is from 2010.

Reel-to-Real: The Movies Musical

Less chat more dancin’ and singin’ please

Much has been made of Reel-to-Real’s impressive technical credentials, which allows live performers to perform iconic song-and-dance numbers against a backdrop of footage from classic film musicals. In fact the background projections, while cleverly interwoven with the live action, are essentially an expensive gimmick whose impact gradually diminishes as the show progresses. Moreover, it’s a bit of a risk to have unknown performers singin’ and dancin’ alongside Gene Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Fred Astaire – I mean, who is your eye going to be drawn to?

The series of instantly recognisable routines is strung together by a paper thin story about a pair of siblings competing for the spoils of their father’s will, their journey taking in various exotic locations around the globe. Whatever. The producers should simply have allowed the songs, including ‘Some Enchanted Evening’, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ to push the action along. As things stand you’re left twiddling your thumbs for long passages between numbers, which is a shame as, apart from an ill-advised mash-up of Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ and ‘Luck Be a Lady Tonight’, the set pieces are mostly entertaining take-offs of the originals.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 24,) 6pm, £13.50–£15 (£12.50–£14).

Reel-to-Real: The Movies Musical

  • 3 stars

Marries clips from classic Warner and MGM movie musicals with live performers and the greatest songs of Broadway. An original story that travels from glamorous New York to sumptuous China. Ages: U

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