smiley happy people

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Lots of singing and dancing in the isles at the Bristol Hippodrome production of The Niel Sedaka story “Laughter in the rain“.   Mumzie was jigging and clapping during the substantial encore pastiche of Sedaka songs.  Other than being familiar with the songs I knew nothing about Niel Sedakas life and I fully enjoyed the production.  

3  smiles: Ratings explained

Audience.   Given that the  production could be enjoyed with little knowledge of Niel Sedaka  it was sad to find the Hippodrome less than a quarter full on a Friday night.   Mumsie and I happily moved from our cheap seats to closer seats with a more expensive view.  Judging by the silver hair, short people with warped backs the audience were mainly over 60 years. At 46 I was probably the youngest audience member.

Venue. 1912 building with tiers,  boxes and a huge dome all  decorated in Rococo style gold plasterwork providing a lavish music hall feel. During the production I decided to pick-up a copy of Carol King’s ‘Tapestry’ and some Niel Sedaka music.   Sadly, the Hippodrome didn’t provide the opportunity for the audience to purchase this kind of related merchandise.

Production. Niel’s story moved from song to song, highlighting the personal significance of each song ‘Oh Carol’, ‘breaking up is hard to do’, and  ‘last song together’.   Some songs were cast  with a slightly new significance to move the story forward.   For example, according to album notes ‘the immigrant’ was originally written as a comment of John Lennon’s application for US citizenship being rejected.   In  this production it is sung when Niel leaves the US to come to the UK where he feels  he will be given more creative freedom to develop as an aritst than the US allowed him.   Some of the significant life events were fascinating, for example,  10cc  encouraging Niel to record any song he wanted in anyway, resulting in Solitaire then ay its inception Elton John  asking Niel to be one of Rocket Record’s artists.

The photographs of story-contenporary, buildings, people, places, and record covers projected on the backdrop as Niel’s story unfolded were fascinating social-cultural history.

Production brochure in front of Dr. Who credits


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