Liam Murphy

Jack Cunningham Productions lit up the Theatre Royal with an ensemble, Sunday night entertainment with Broadway A Night To Remember. It showcased emerging talent and allowed ‘seasoned’ musical theatre luminaries to explore their inner, Harold Prince. There was an online scan available in the foyer of the programme, and this was from a company that had little or no arts or theatre funding.

Jack Cunningham and dancers tapped out a ‘Herod’s Song’ from Jesus Christ Superstar, and there was excitement and celebration in his positive, welcoming speech – “Have the best night ever”.

The dancers were special and shone like the stars they were – Tara Quinn, Ava Coppinger, Millie Sloan, Patrick Drennan and Cian Cunningham (his Nan, Ann McGrath, is Waterford theatre royalty).

‘Show People’ introduced the quality company, and the Girls revelled in ‘New York, New York’, with Anne-Marie Collins, Chloe McGrath, Emma Walsh and Jennifer White were characters with attitude and pizzazz. Emma Walsh was wonderful with ‘When You’ve Got It Flaunt It’, and she did. Thomas Rogers Snr, Tobie Hickey and Bill Stafford (looking like Harold Prince) were stellar in ‘Stars’.

Anne Marie Collins, Jennifer White, Chloe McGrath and Emma Walsh.

The Full Company were a true ensemble for ‘You Will Be Found’ from dear Evan Hansen. Jennifer White rocked with the dancers in ‘Somebody To Love’, and The Girls were smooth out in ‘Broadway Baby’ as they jostled for prominence. Chloe McGrath excelled with ‘All That Matters’ (Finding Neverland), and the Full Company delighted a happy out audience with ‘Get Me To The Church’.

There was a lady dancing in an aisle during the interval, and you could feel the love and the happiness. ‘Rhythm Of Life’ opened an exciting Act 2, and the six girls wowed the audience with a choreographed ‘Ex Wives’ from Six.

Chloe McGrath and Tobie Hickey

Anne-Marie Collins was splendid on ‘Send In The Clowns’. her timing was clockwork, and her interpretation was a gem of musical theatre and a highlight of the show. Bill Stafford was masterful in ‘If I Were A Rich Man’, and Emma Walsh and Jennifer White aced it with ‘If Momma Was Married’. Tom Rogers was so relaxed with ‘Leaning On A Lamp Post’, and The Boys achieved ‘The Impossible Dream’.

The Girls were sassy and delightful for ‘Dancin’ In The Street’ before Tobie Hickey crooned to wonderful heights with ‘Hey There’, singing to his mobile phone, like taking a selfie. This was a pure musical theatre moment from an impressive entertainer.

‘One Day More’ rocked out the finale and encored into an Abba hit to send the audience home happy beneath a sky of stars, and a great big, beaming moon.

The dancers were special and shone in the show.