Superstar finalist goes Gaye
That's Marvin Gaye of course.
More from GT Stage
GT enjoyed a soulful Sunday last night as we attended the West End premiere of You Can Do It. This jazzy musical was created by Superstar finalist Roger Wright and follows brothers Edwin and Bertie collectively known as singing sensations the Lightfoot brothers. Starring alongside Lord Webber's finalist was Paul Hazel from west end shows Avenue Q and Dancing in the Streets.
The soul train departed from Leicester Square theatre, an intimate venue with a fabulous party atmosphere. Passengers were a mixed bunch of families, older couples, girls night out goers and of course, the gays. The crowd enjoyed a shimmy to Baby Love and River Deep Mountain High in their seats while waiting to twist the night away with the Lightfoot brothers.
The first destination is a 70s style living room where we join two old men, Edwin and Bertie whose crazy antics have the audience roaring with laughter right from the opening scene. This includes cutting each others grey afros, bumping and grinding with walking sticks and even a microphone malfunction is dealt with in such a funny way it is made part of the show. Whilst enjoying a whisky or ten the old brothers begin to reminisce about their younger days as singing sensations and perform a variety of soulful classics from legends such as Otis Redding, Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis. Cheering, clicking and clapping fills the theatre as the duo deliver the songs through comedy by dancing around their walking sticks and having to wake each other up mid verse, nevertheless still hitting all the high notes much to the audience's delight. A hilarious highlight from the first half is when an old granny appears with a Beyonce booty and is seduced by the brothers as she pushes her shopping cart around the stage. The simple set appears to go unnoticed as the loveable characters have drawn people in with up-tempo numbers like Higher and Higher and the slower ballads show off Roger's raspy, powerful voice making it clear why he is a well deserved Superstar finalist.
During the interval it's great to see the room full of energy dancing along to Stop in the Name of Love and Heard It Through the Grapevine. As the show proceeds into the second half people's Motown moves are interrupted by Pappa Lightfoot's ghostly voice who invites the audience to take their place "in the funkiness of life". He sends the brothers a heavenly command to be made young again and put on the show of their lives. As the screams of excitement get louder, the curtain draws back revealing a live band, Dreamgirls style backing singers and a young, handsome Edwin and Bertie. Signed, sealed, delivered they're ours and we love them!
The Lightfoot brothers' feel-good show is filled with a mix of soul classics, rhythm and blues, jazz and pop. At one point Roger (Bertie) even rocks out to Here I Go Again On My Own with a big two fingers up at the judges who said he didn't do rock well on Superstar. The mix of genres works really well and the audience jump on their feet as Edwin joins Bertie to rock out to Paradise City and Sweet Child of Mine before throwing in some Bob Marley for good measure. During the show Roger is given a standing ovation for a powerful performance of Feeling Good and Paul (Edwin) is given one for his version of Bojangles. Along with the brothers flawless voices, there is fantastic audience interaction which makes the show a success. Some lucky ladies were chosen to twist and shout on stage and anyone that was left sat down soon shot up as the brothers came into the crowd to dance as the "Dreamgirls" took centre stage.
Whilst Edwin and Bertie begin to turn old again the audience join in with an encore by starting a love train, a love train. Well done to Roger Wright who helped us release our inner soulful sister and it was fantastic to see a show where the entire audience were on their feet singing, dancing and enjoying themselves. Paul tweeted this morning: "What a great night. Myself and @RogerWright1 were so happy to see so many people. Thank you for your support."
Words: Benjamin Spence