The MGM Story
On a Sunday evening in February, I ventured out of the house to head to my trusted local theatre, the New Wolsey in Ipswich for my first visit in 2017, for an evening of song, dance and education with The MGM Story.
Set on a messy yet intriguing disused film set, a cast of three, with three musicians, held the show together. The show opened with the sound of the iconic “Over The Rainbow” on a crackling record, before the cast burst onto the stage singing “That’s Entertainment” – which seemed the perfect set-up for the show.
The show consisted of performances of songs from the golden era of Hollywood musicals, featuring songs from The Wizard Of Oz, Meet Me In St Louis, Annie Get Your Gun, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain and many more.
In between each song, the cast gave information about the various films and shows, and stories from behind the scenes at studio of MGM, which was told in a pacy style to keep the show flowing – and I have to admit, whilst I love musicals and movies, this is an era that I still know only a limited amount about so it was a great insight. I hadn’t really realised that MGM in particular, were such a big player in the musical movie field. It’s also easy to forget these films were pure escapism and cheap entertainment, especially as many were released in the midst of wartime.
The talented cast of three have a respectable number of other stage and acting credits behind them, and seemed to love what they were doing. I have to commend one cast member in particular, Steven Dalziel, as he had a moment of mishaps, which including breaking his tap shoe! However he handled the situation well, and carried on – yes, That’s Entertainment!
Overall, it made for a great nights entertainment that anyone who loves musicals and Hollywood could enjoy – whether 9 or 90. There were plenty of toes tapping and hands clapping in a relatively full theatre, and it was a real celebration of that golden era from the 30s through to the 50s. Which feels especially poignant when thinking of the recent passing of Debbie Reynolds and the success of La La Land. Without MGM, the world may be a little less musical…
Currently on a UK tour, for more information visit aria-entertainment.com.