Recipients of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours from the performing arts world include actors Maureen Lipman, David Suchet, Adrian Lester and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, writer and actor Arinzé Kene, entertainer Tommy Steele, choreographer Siobhan Davies and Mamma Mia! creator Judy Craymer.
Combining a realistic portrayal of Glenn Miller with Steele’s genial narration could be the saving of this piece.
Joining the Tommy Steele on stage at the London Coliseum in The Glenn Miller Story this summer is Marti Webb. The show runs for a limited season from 6 July to 18 August 2018. Sixty years after making his stage debut at the London Coliseum in 1958 starring in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the celebrated singer and actor Tommy Steele returns to the London stage to celebrate his idol Glenn …
Sixty years after Tommy Steele made his theatre debut in 1958 starring in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the London Coliseum, he will return there to salute his idol Glenn Miller in a new musical celebration, running for seven weeks from 6 July to August 2018.
The script is sprinkled with as many songs as anecdotes – who knew for example that Bart could not write music? He would hum out a tune on his kazoo, while his good friend Eric Roberts (who was to score most of the Carry On movies) transcribed the melodies to written manuscript.
George Stiles and Anthony Drewe have given the 1963 David Henecker score a complete re-boot with new songs which fit seamlessly into the story – their ragtime ‘Pick Out A Simple Tune’ being an absolute stunner in Andrew Wright’s mercilessly energetic choreography.
Considerable musicality and dollops of goodwill cannot hide the huge basic problems at the heart of The Glenn Miller Story.
As soon as Steele walked on the stage there was applause, we see a twinkle in his eye and his broad smile that we have come to expect. I like many of the audience I would imagine, after the performance, Google Tommy Steele’s age only to find that he is in his late 70’s and yet he stood before us upright and the national treasure he has become. With his charismatic charming personality and voice as strong as ever, this born showman was ready to entertain us.