Following two triumphant tours, spectacular show The Glenn Miller Story has arrived at Venue Cymru. The show is the extraordinary tale of America’s most famous big band leader and stars music legend Tommy Steele.
It’s been seventy years since Glenn Miller vanished over the English Channel as he flew to Paris to entertain the troops during the Second World War. Did he crash? Was he shot down? Will the mystery ever be solved? Featuring a 16 piece orchestra, a full supporting company of performers and dazzling choreography, the story of one of the most iconic musical figures of the 20th century has been told like never before.
Over the past 15 years, Bill Kenwright and Tommy Steele regularly get together to talk about the past, present and future. One evening, Bill discovered that his all-encompassing love for Elvis was equal only to Tommy’s adoration for Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.
Bill learned that Tommy is a true devotee; travelling all over the world to hear what remains of the original Orchestral Sounds, and is steeped in the knowledge and the glory of what Glenn Miller did for popular music. Tommy enthused that Glenn changed the face of music from 1939 – 1943 when he was the most popular recording artist in the world.
At a dinner party, celebrating Tommy’s award as the Most Popular Entertainer of All Time at the London Palladium that they came up with The Glenn Miller Story!
“In the summer of 2014 I was on my way to dinner with my dear friend, producer Bill Kenwright, and as usual I was well prepared for the coming meeting of minds” – Tommy Steele.
Tommy Steele’s the show as Glenn Miller
Let’s start by saying that Tommy Steele is a brilliant performer and to have him at Venue Cymru with such a big show is a dream come true, I remember seeing Tommy in many films as I was growing up and thanks to my mum, I also got to listen to hs music, of which I still love to this days.
So add to the mix the fantastic music of Glenn Miller and you have an amazing marriage of performance and music all on the stage here in North Wales.
What I wasn’t prepared for was some rather emotional scenes in the musical, those who know the history of Glenn Miller will know of his tragic disappearance in 1944 during his flight to Paris, this is done with such love in The Glenn Miller Story and I did find myself a little emotional.
The appeal of the show has to be the music, the Glenn Miler classics are performed by a band that brings them to life and takes you back in time, giving you the feeling of almost being with Glenn Miller during his shows.
The set design is brilliant, not too simple, but enough to bring the story to live from the aeroplane hanger to the streets of New York, lighting and the occasional special effects are all used with style.
Tommy Steele certainly brought the theatre to life on opening night, he certainly doesn’t look and sound 80 years old, he still has a wonderful ability on the stage to dance around and his voice is still a joy to listen to, and still hitting notes that have made his voice so distinctive, he still also has that cheeky smile.
Tommy is a pure joy to watch and listen to, as is his co-star Abigail Jaye who plays Helen Burger, Glenn’s wife who he met in 1928 whilst at the university. Abigail has such a lovely singing voice and her duets with Tommy were a pure joy to listen to and their on-stage chemistry as Helen and Glenn worked so well.
All the cast work well together with some lovely comedic timing from Ashley Knight who plays Chummy MacGregor plus the band are live on stage, this adds to the atmosphere of bringing the Glenn Miller Story to life, giving the evening an exciting feel to it, with tracks including Rhapsody in Blue, Pennsylvania 6-5000 and Chattanooga Choo Choo.Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright have teamed up again to direct the show and what a brilliant job they have done, having been at the helm of several award-winning musicals including
Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright have teamed up again to direct the show and what a brilliant job they have done, having been at the helm of several award-winning musicals including Blood Brothers, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar. The choreography is by Olivier Award winner Bill Deamer (Top Hat, Evita, Save The Last Dance For Me).
A fantastic evening and this is a show that shouldn’t be missed, the evening ended with an encore from Tommy the cast and the band of Sing Sing Sing with the audience joining in. The show had a standing ovation from many in the audience and what a fantastic show.
— Bill Kenwright Ltd (@BKL_Productions) October 14, 2016
The Glenn Miller Story will run from the Tuesday 11 – Saturday 15 October, book now to avoid missing the show, call the Box Office on 01492 872000 or visit the Venue Cymru website: www.venuecymru.co.uk