Saturday, 22 September 2018

Broadway to Chicago and back in one night

AN evening of musical theatre is being staged to raise money for Henley’s amateur operatic society — and the organisers

AN evening of musical theatre is being staged to raise money for Henley’s amateur operatic society — and the organisers are guaranteeing a night of fun with something for everyone, writes Lesley Potter.

HAODS In Concert will be held in The Studio, next to the Kenton Theatre, and features a range of songs from musical theatre.

The programme includes numbers from Phantom Of The Opera and The Boy Friend as well as a song from Spamalot and Chicago.

Musical director Andy Smith from Reading has been drafted in by old schoolfriends to play piano and direct.

Andy went to Oxford Brookes University to read English but left after two weeks “because I got bored” and ended up playing Oscar the pianist in a touring production of 42nd Street.

He said: “A friend was in the show and said they needed some young people, and I ended up playing Oscar. He wheels on a little pink piano every now and then and plays. I don’t remember much about it now — but I remember I didn’t get paid!”

Nevertheless, his first foray on to the stage prompted him to write to Cameron Mackintosh who invited him for an interview — and hired him to play in a production of Les Misérables.

Since then, Andy has worked on many professional musical shows, from Phantom Of The Opera to Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Martin Guerre. He said: “I’m delighted to work with HAODS. It should be a fun show, and there will be something for everyone.”

The production, on Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23, is being staged to raise money to revamp the Studio’s kitchen.

HAODS chairman, Julie Huntington, said: “We would like to totally refurbish it, and we have been nursing our 25-year-old boiler through the winter. It’s either on or off, you can’t regulate it, and now it seems to be leaking water.”

The group hopes the concert will raise between £1,500 and £2,000. They are also staging a danceathon on Sunday, March 3.

Tickets for the concert are available from Henley Pet Shop on Bell Street or by calling 07514 054 384 or visit www.henleyoperatic.co.uk

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