Thank you for the musicals

REVIEW: Grand Music Fest 16, Grand Theatre
Dancing QueenDancing Queen
Dancing Queen

Jukebox musicals may be common enough but the Grand appears to have invented the jukebox summer season.

Depending on which nightly slot you put your money into you’re rewarded with a tribute act from around 10 shows that run the gamut of pop music over the last half century.

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Monday nights are the preserve of Dancing Queen (pictured), an Abba tribute with enough energy and stage presence to hold together a two-hour stage show that also warms its audience to the occasion with a first act devoted to 70s disco hits or a Grease medley. The best outfits, lighting and wigs are saved for a second act thrown over exclusively to the Swedish pop quartet. The costume changes reflect the band’s changing styles, even if a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ becomes apparent – appropriately enough during Does Your Mother Know That You’re Out!

There’s also a nod to times past with a little community singalong. And when one elderly couple – more superannuated than Super Troupers – are spotted lustily singing Lay All Your Love On Me to each other then you know that good entertainment, however packaged, can be ageless. Grand Music Fest 16 runs to September 1.

David Upton

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