Review of Louise Winton Sings Songs from Stage and Screen By Mark Sherry
Fans of Broadway and movie musicals (and for that matter, opera) will find a lot to enjoy about the wide variety of songs in Louise Winton Sings Songs from Stage and Screen.
One of the unique things about this performance was that the audience decided the set list. Given a choice of shows such as Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast, West Side Story, Annie Get Your Gun, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, and many others, the audience voted via Survey Monkey to determine the songs in the First Act.
When one of the online votes was a tie, those in the audience who hadn’t voted were given the tiebreaker vote. I have never seen an interactive theatrical production do this. It really did engage the audience in a new way.
The audience I was in chose songs from Oklahoma, Les Mis, The King and I, and Cats. That meant the show was full of classic hits from Broadway – Memory from Cats, Getting to Know You from The King and I, Oh What A Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma, and a megamix of both male and female songs from Les Mis.
The performance was held in a church at Camp Hill, and was attended both by parishioners and by people who came for the show. This was an audience that was a bit older than most shows as a result.
Louise Winton also sung some songs from opera (including Puccini and Strauss) after the intermission. Her performance of Pie Jesu was a highlight, as was one of the arias from Der Fledermaus.
The audience obviously enjoyed the opportunities for singalongs, such as the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah” and “Getting to Know You” from The King and I.
Perhaps it is to be expected that non-traditional venues may be challenging for some performances, and in this case, there were some issues with the backing music at times. But it didn’t seem to bother the audience.
Louise Winton had a very amusing, relaxed and disarming stage presence and it almost felt like a performance among friends who enjoyed the show.