So begins the saga of Tony and Lola.
Their tale of love and romance on the way to stardom has captured millions, and is now a full-scale Broadway musical fantasy, which is HLOS's next production in March 2013.
Original songs created by Barry Manilow, dazzling costumes, spectacular sets and sensational choreography
all add up to an evening of entertainment that will leave you breathless!
We know the song, but what of the musical itself?
The story follows Stephen, a young aspiring songwriter, as he composes what he hopes will become a hit musical.
His imagination takes him back to 1947 as he creates a story surrounding an ambitious young singer Lola de Mar who arrives in New York City from Tulsa hoping to become a star.
Meanwhile, Tony Forte, a 1947 incarnation of Stephen, is attempting to make it as a songwriter while tending bar at the famous Copacabana Nightclub. Tony instantly falls for Lola as she wanders into the Copacabana. He, along with former "Copa Girl" Gladys, introduce her to the owner of the club, Sam Silver, to get her a job as a new Copa Girl. The two try to make it in New York in their respective fields, but do not find it easy. After Tony helps Lola improve a song written by her former music teacher, Sam gives her a job as a Copa Girl at his club. Tony and Lola fall in love as Tony writes a song for Lola as she listens.
Stephen's voice can be heard narrating the events as Rico Castelli, an Italian gangster from Cuba, enters the Copacabana with the now-waning star Conchita Alvarez. Sam confronts Rico about the disappearance of Copa Girls each time he comes to the club, and demands he leave. However, Rico, armed with thugs, is able to stay long enough to meet and develop an interest in Lola de Mar. He drugs her and flies her back to Havana, Cuba, to star in his own nightclub - the Tropicana.
In Havana, Rico informs Conchita that she will be replaced by a new, younger actress, Lola. Conchita, frustrated and upset, goes to Lola in order to 'welcome' her. Back at the Tropicana, Tony, Sam and Gladys learn that Lola was kidnapped and taken to Cuba. Tony immediately heads to save her, and Sam, after some convincing by Gladys, agrees to hep him. Conchita, initially intending to threaten Lola, finds that she is truly a victim, and instead treats her with sympathy. Stephen can be seen again, this time expressing his love for the troubled Lola, while also sharing his lament, for she is merely a figment of his imagination.
Tony and Sam, now in Cuba, find Conchita and ask her for her help. She agrees and pretends to guide Lola to become her replacement, while telling her to play along. Near the end of the Tropicana performance of 'El Bravo', Tony runs on stage, reunited with Lola once again. However, Rico is close behind, waving a gun and points the
barrel at Tony.
A single gun shot is heard ... but just who shot who?
Back in the present, Stephen has finished his song and his wife, Samantha is urging him to dress for their anniversary dinner. Stephen realises that Lola was simply an incarnation of his wife, and finds he has a new sense
of love for her.
Rehearsals are well underway, and we will be bringing you weekly (crosses fingers) updates from various members of the production.
The show itself is on at Harpenden Public Halls, 18-23 March 2013 and tickets ARE NOW ON SALE online at www.hlos.ticketsource.co.uk, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone and postal bookings will open on January 1st 2013.