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Save the Last Dance for Me, Palace Theatre, Manchester until Saturday 2 July

31530_full ldfmSet in the summer of 1963, ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’, is a musical which follows the adventures of schoolgirl sisters, Jennifer (Lola Saunders) and Marie (Elizabeth Carter) who set off from Luton to Lowestoft for a caravan holiday without mum and dad, eager for sun, sea, sand and boys.

Their teenage dreams are quickly spoilt by the not-so- sunny Lowestoft, where the only bit of excitement to be found is provided by the GI servicemen based at a nearby American airbase.

The airmen are told Lowestoft is off-limits at night because all the entertainment they need is available at their base – a dance hall with a live big band, Coke-a- Cola, hotdogs, a jukebox and nightly entertainment.

The girls head for the airbase on the promise of seeing Elvis Presley but the only Elvis to be seen is the drummer in the band. One of GI airmen, the African-American Curtis (Wayne Robinson), takes a shine to seventeen-year- old Marie and they embark on a whirlwind romance.

Most of the action takes place in the dance hall, with the band playing the hits of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, who wrote songs for some of the biggest artists in the world, including 25 songs for Elvis, including ‘Viva Las Vegas’ and ‘Suspicion’. They also penned big hits recorded by British artists, such as ‘Sweets for my Sweet’ by the Searchers and Marty Wilde’s ‘A Teenager in Love.’

The show features great performances from Wayne Robinson, as GI Curtis, and Elizabeth Carter, as sugary sweet seventeen-year- old Marie. Lola Saunders brings us girlie comedy as Marie’s big sister. Antony Costa, as GI Milton, keeps everything running smoothly between the love birds. Sackie Osakonor, playing GI Rufus, a sergeant in the military police, brings a real stage presence and his fantastic singing voice to the production.

The team of actors, musicians and dancers works together to stage an exuberant production featuring around 30 unforgettable sixties songs.

There was plenty of audience participation on the night WFM 97.2’s reviewer saw the show, with theatregoers standing to clap, sing and dance along.

The musical ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’ was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran who also created ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats.’ The show was directed by Bill Kenwright, choreographed by Bill Deamer and designed by Mark Bailey.

So if you want a night of great songs and dance numbers and laugh-out- loud humour, ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’ is on at the Palace Theatre till Saturday 2 nd July 2016

Tickets are available from the box office or book online at www.atgtickets.com

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