Manilow Magic at Public Hall
I would be the first to admit that I did not realise the Amersican songwriter Barry Manilow ever wrote a musical.
But Copacabana, the show staged by Harpenden Light Operatic Society, is just that and a real spectacular at that.
Storyline apart, this is a show with real glitzy punch and, just as important, it makes a real change from the usual run of shows staged by amateur societies.
This was a show which packed colour and glamour onto the stage at Harpenden Public Hall like no other in recent times as it harked back to the late 1940s and the rejection of the drabness of wartime austerity.
And the Harpenden production, directed by Sally Davis, featured the company's best talent.
Right at the top were Claire Millins as Lola, the imaginary heroine of the plot, together with Terry Cavander as both the hero and the songwriter whose imagination creates the plot.
They showed first class singing and dancing ability and both of them also demonstrated good dance techniques.
But the two leading characters were backed by a solid cast of equally talented supporters including Colette Eagles as the nightclub cigarette girl Gladys and Matt Clothier as her boss Sam Silver as well as Cark Robinson as the villain Rico and Jackie Pulford as Conchita, his put-upon girlfriend.
Adding a touch of glamour to the whole proceedings were a group of showgirls who really knew how to dance and show off their spectacular costumes.
Musical Director Isobel Handley once more ensured the pit orchestra did a first rate job with this very tuneful show.
But the major problem faced by the company was a tendency for some of the bigger numbers in the show to be over-amplified. The outcome was some strange results from Harpenden Public Hall's sound system.