Swing Time with the Andrews Sisters

Banquet Room. 16 June 2012

A capacity house sitting around candle lit tables; older people ready to remember their youth; younger people coming to hear what swing, boogie-woogie, and close harmony are all about.

Sammy and his Society Syncopators (four talented musicians under the direction of Tim Cunniffe) open up; followed by the look alike Andrews Sisters (Maree Cole, Pilar Mata Dupont and Sherry-Anne Hayes, also the writer) as Maxene, Patty and LaVerne The dynamic music, singing, and vocal patter don’t stop until the  end of the extended encore 70 minutes later.

Modelled on the original 1940s Command Performance radio shows which beamed out to the American troops abroad, and to the home audience, this show is a real winner.

The Andrews Sisters in their hey day were a bright beacon of positive musical energy in bleak times. They sold more than 75 million records, and their 1941 hit, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy was an early example of rhythm and blues. This tight production captures that energy. Show stopping numbers are interwoven with a potted history of the sisters’ rise to fame. The radio show format is laced with listener questions and community notices highlighting the benefits of cigarettes, tomato soup, chewing gum, American automobiles, and obeying air raid wardens, adding a 1940s war time reality.

The many fully rendered musical hits (including Bei Mer Bist Du Schoen, I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time and of course, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) were both memorable and evocative. The poignant ensemble performance of Don’t Fence Me In was incredibly moving.

A fast moving show. Strong choreography and exceptional close harmony work.  Boogie on girls and boys!

Martin Christmas

When: to 17 Jun
Where: Banquet Room