REVIEW: S’wonderful to enjoy an afternoon of Gershwin

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A concert of classic Gershwin music on a Sunday afternoon seems like a wonderfully old fashioned thing to go to. That’s what made it such a treat.

The Crazy for Gershwin show by the London Concert Orchestra took place at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton on October 12 with a programme of musical pieces and songs by George and Ira Gershwin that took the packed auditorium back to an era of sophisticated glamour.

Maybe it’s because I spent so much time watching old films on the television when I was growing up, but I still find myself drawn to those classic tunes that would set Fred Astaire off dancing around a glamorous nightclub with Ginger Rogers (she doing all the same moves, but backwards and in high heels of course).

Add to the orchestra, performances from guest singers and a pianist and the dancing talents of two talented couples and there was an afternoon of escapist entertainment right there.

Among the most notable segments was a selection from Porgy and Bess sung by Rodney Earl Clarke and Meeta Raval and I especially enjoyed It Ain’t Necessarily So, in which Clarke’s performance turned cheekily into a conversation between him and a saxophone.

The programme of songs included favourites such as S’Wonderful, A Foggy Day in London Town, I Got Rhythm and Someone To Watch Over Me. Many of the songs were accompanied with dance. Ballroom dancers Leila Stewart and James Wilson brought an elegant touch to the afternoon, but it was tap-dancers Lucy-Alexa Gilbert and Oliver Botterill who really brought a smile to my face with their light-footed and energetic performance.

The highlight though was Rhapsody in Blue, with Jonathan Scott at the piano. I love the drama of this piece. It is so familiar to me and it was exciting to see it performed with such style.