As the name suggests, Putting on the Ritz – which is currently at The Liverpool Empire Theatre featuring former Strictly Come Dancing favourites Anya Garnis, Robin Windsor, Trent Whiddon and Gordana Grandosek, along with Liverpool’s own Ray Quinn – is a proper old style Hollywood song ‘n’ dance spectacular that’s guaranteed to have audiences tapping their feet and swaying in their seats.
Robin and Anya are every bit as accomplished as you might expect, performing a Rhumba with an amazing lift towards the end of Somewhere Over the Rainbow that is sure to bring gasps of amazement from all who see it.
Ray Quinn, who is this week’s guest star, started off with gusto singing Mack the Knife and then followed on by showing that he has more than singing ability but also some serious dance moves, particularly tap dancing during Stepping Out With My Baby at which point he definitely owns the stage after something of a nervy start and makes it his own. He’s also no mean whistler, as demonstrated on his rendition of Mr. Bojangles.
The closing routine of Who Could Ask for Anything More saw more accomplished dancing from Quinn, although the highlight of the show remains the routine during which the entire dance troupe sit on the stage apron, dressed in 1920s Charleston costumes, to perform a hand jive which to call razor sharp would be understating the case and is almost worth the admission price alone.
With so many costume and set changes – particularly once the scene is transformed in the Cotton Club of 1928 Harlem fame – Putting on the Ritz is a show that glitters from start to finish which, combined with the extraordinarily talented performers on stage, certainly makes for a heady combination that will leave fans of Strictly giddy and fans of classic musicals happy that some of the finest numbers ever composed have been treated to a more than satisfying make over.
Putting on the Ritz
Liverpool Empire Theatre
October 6th – October 10
PR Rating **** Ritzy ‘n’ Glitzy