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Seen at Palace Theatre, Manchester. At Edinburgh Playhouse, lire 17 Dec-Sat 25 Jan.

There will be few more enjoyable ways to spend Christmas in Edinburgh this year than a visit to this rousing toe- tapper oi a production. Despite boasting the talents of the shamelessly louche Patrick Mower who will surely never recover irom being lampooned on Fantasy Football league last season Mike Gckrent’s production of George and lra Gershwln’s Crazy For You mixes all the best the genre has to oiler - an enigmatic leading man in Tim Flavin; a gorgeous leading lady in Fiona Benjamin; a sumptuous collection oi costumes in luminous primary colours; and a no-expense-spared set, in which two quarter-sized cars almost steal the show.

Bobby Ghlld (Flavin), a liarvard brainbox with distinctly non-academic ambitions, wants to stage lavish musicals in a run-down llew York theatre bequeathed to him by his mother (Angela Moran). he also fancies Polly Baker (Benjamin), who inexplicany has the bots tor the town’s top impresario Bela langler (Mower, in rattish mode, particularly in the second half).

You guessed it - Bobby has to disguise himself as Bela in order to win Polly’s heart. So Bobby relocates to the one-horse town oi lieadrock, llevada to realise his ambition. But this is the austere 1930s. Money is scarce; and in oeadrock, so is the audience.

‘lmmaculate staging’: Crazy For You

Delivered by a zestlul cast oi twenty- plus which positively bristles with vigour, the timeless tunes come thick and last. ‘I Got llhythm’, ‘Shall We Dance?’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ and the evergreen ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ are all present, in vibrant and sweeping glory. The Gershwin purist may feel the interpretation doesn’t quite capture the spirit oi the times; but this is a minor quibble, tor the show’s immaculate staging and evocative recreations easily compensate. Recommended. (Mike Barnett)


I ADAM HDUSE THEATRE 5 Chambers Street. "Ticketline: 220 4349.

Peter Pen 28 Dec—4 Jan. 28/29 Dec. l/2. 4 Jan 2.30pm; 28/29 Dec. 3 Jan 7pm. £5 (£3/£4). The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Groups presean J .M. Barrie’s tale of the boy who never grew up.

I EDIHBURGH FESTIVAL THEATRE l3/29 Nicolson Street. 529 6000. [Access: L. Facilities: WC. W8. AS. H, C. T. Help: A].

lleury IV Until Sat 14 Dec. Part No Fri 13. 7.30pm. Parts One and Tlrro marathon Sat 14. 5pm. £4—£l4.50 (£4.50—£l2.50); marathon £8.25—£2 1.75 (£6.25—£l9.75). Fans of live Shakespeare have had plenty

of productions to choose from of late. but this looks like being the bumper bard package to top the lot. Totalling an epic six hours. this version by the Cheshire- based English Touring Theatre can be seen over the space of two evenings or in a marathon session on Saturday. Starring in Shakespeare‘s colourful pageant of a history play are father and son team Timothy (Falstaff) and Samuel West (Pn'nce Hal).

I KING’S THEATRE 2 Leven Street. 220 4349. [Access: R. L. Facilities: WC. H. G. C. Help: A, AA].

The Adventures Gt llobinson Crusoe Until Sat 25 Jan (not Mons or 25 Dec: l Jan). lpm/2pm/3pm/4.45pm/7pm (check with box office which performances are on

each day). £7.50—£ 14.50 (£5.50—£l 1.50). Dishy David Essex is the panto star to top all panto stars this year at The King‘s. starring as the shipwrecked sailor for a swashbuckling seasonal treat with new music written by Essex. plus a few of his old favourites (Hold Me Close etc. etc) for Mum and Auntie Beryl to sing along to. I HETHERBDW ARTS CENTRE 43 High Street. 556 9579. [Access: ST. R. L. Facilities: WC. W8. H. G. C. Help: A.


Puppet llativity Thurs l9—Tue 24 Dec (not Sun). Ham/2pm. £3 (£2.50). Ian Turbitt‘s Puppet Theatre pulls the strings for this unusual version of the traditional Christmas Nativity Play. suitable for children of four-plus and their families. I OUT UP THE ENE 25 Blackfriars Street. 556 5204.

The Bongo Club Sun 29/Mon 30 Dec. l0pm—3am. £5 (£3). Two nights of entertainment billed as. ‘arts cabaret. not- on-the-Channel Ferry cabaret' and featuring the varying talents of slam poetry champion ofGlastonbury MC Jabba. performance artist Donna Rutherford. readings ofemerging Scots writers performed by a group called Merlin. ‘performance club' They Ate Her. resident DJ Matt Wand of Stock Hausen and Walkman . . . and more. Enter at your peril.

I PLAYHDUSE THEATRE Greenside Place. 557 2590. [Access: R. L.

Facilities: WC. W5. G. C].

Phantom On Ice Until Sat 14 Dec. 7.30pm: Sat mat 2.30pm. £7—£l7.50. The much-()Iympic-Gold-carrying Russian ice-dancers of Wild Rose International get their skates on for a dramatic and colourful version of the smash-hit musical.

Crazy For You Tue 17 Dec—Sat 25 Jan. 7.30pm; Wed/Sat mat 2.30pm. £7—£l7.50 (concs available). From the producers of Me And My Gi r! and 42nd Street comes this new production of the George and Ira Gershwin musical comedy. starring Patrick Mower (Target. Spet'ial Branch and Front Page Story) as New York-based theatre impresario Bela Zangler. a swinging soundtrack ofclassics and fast- steppin’ dance routines. See Frontlines. page 2 and review. page 60.

I RDYAl lYCEUM THEATRE Grindlay Street. 229 9697. [Access: P. L. Facilities: WC. W8. H. G. C. T. Help: A. AA] Closed Suns.

The Sleeping Beauty Until Sat 4 Jan (not 25 Dec; l .lan). 7pm; 2.30pm mats Sat l4/Fri 20 then daily until Sat 4 Jan. £4.50—£l5. Stuart Paterson. Scotland‘s Christmas show writer extraordinaire. who conjured up last year‘s Merlin The Magnificent for the Lyceum and whose Cinderella is at the MacRobert. Stirling this year puts his own spin on the princess who sleeps for 100 years. Travelling through strange lands with bears and frogs and dragons the show follows Princess Margarita as she and Talassa. Queen of Light attempt to reverse the curse of the

HIT LIST Catch the best theatre this month.

59".“ .T‘

‘3' ‘1 i

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w ill .2: . I C or You Lavish toun'ng production of George and Ira Gershwin’s musical about the ups and downs of romance and showbiz. starring Patrick Mower as impresario Bela Zangler. See review. page 60. Edinburgh Playhouse. ill The Sleeping Beauty Stuart Paterson retains his crown as Scotland‘s top penner of Christmas shows with this enchanting version of the classic tale. See review feature. pages 14/15. Royal Lyceum Theatre. Edinburgh. I The Wizard DI 01 Sparkling adaptation of the classic camp film. directed by Giles Havergal for the Citizens’ company. See review feature, pages MI I 5. Citizens‘ Theatre. Glasgow. I DI Nettles And noses Convincing alternative to panto. as Theatre Workshop's artistic director Robert Rae adapts a sombre Yiddish folk tale to a Christmas show format. See review feature. pages l4/15. Theatre Workshop. Edinburgh. I Ginderella (King’s) Traditional panto by Bob Black with top local talents Gerard Kelly, Elaine C. Smith and Barbara Rafferty piling on the set pieces. See review feature, pages 14/ 15. King 's Theatre, Glasgow:

evil Queen of Darkness. See review feature. pages l4/l5.

I ST BRIDE’S CEHTRE Orwell Terrace. 346 1405. (Access: PPA. l.. ST. R. Facilities: WC. W8. G. C] Closed Suns. Ticketline: 220 4349.

Dick Wilmington And llis Gat Until Sat 2| Dec. 7.30pm; Mon—Fri mat 1.30pm/Sat mat 2pm. £6 (£4). Panto king Bammy Sammy (aka. Ron Coburn) lights off competition from the big venues up the road. with a full cast. including a cat. and an elephant and enough cheesy panto jokes to keep you going till next year. See review feature. pages I4/15.


Les Ballets Pockadero o’e Monte Carlo

Parodylngclasslcal workhom Paqulta to SwanLakethlslsanirreslstableeveningfor dancealiclonadosandoomplete virgns.

Friday 10 and Saturday 11 January Tickets from £8.50 (concessions)




30 The List 13 Dec 1996-9 Jan I997