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‘A Night at the Movies’ with GAMPA

Photos by Alan Garro

Theatre Review

Three weeks ago, the GAMPA academy excelled at drama when they put on ’A Monster Calls’, for which I gave them a well-deserved good review in these columns. I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy going to see their productions.

Last Wednesday, again, I went to see them in action when they put on ‘A Night at the Movies’ for two evenings as if to say “ look how we can top drama with singing, dancing and playing with our twenty-piece orchestra live onstage.”

Those who go regularly to their productions know that there is almost a guarantee that the GAMPA academy always play to win and they do.

This event was no exception and they put on a spectacular evening of entertainment.

Full marks to them for choosing great movie themes which included challenging orchestral pieces and pop tunes in support of their singers and dancers from Show Dance Company.

Curtains opened to a stage with the twenty-strong GAMPA Orchestra as a backdrop, under the direction of Miguel Monge Magistris, and they went into an overture of cinematic tunes.

This is the second time I have seen them perform and their sound is tight and punchy with brass, woodwind, strings, percussion and Mr Monges directing them from his stacked keyboards.

As the applause ebbed for the orchestra, the front of stage filled out with kids for ‘Can’t fight the Moonlight,’ closely followed by ‘I want to say I’m in Love’ from Hercules, both numbers delivered in song and dance, the second in dazzling white Roman tunics.

From ‘Charlie’s Angels’ came ‘Independent Woman’ and next up were the GAMPA Spice Girls with ‘Spice up your Life’. From ‘Barbie the Movie’ we were treated to ‘Dance the Night Away’ and from ‘Toy Story’ we enjoyed ‘Somebody Loved Me’ and, all the time, building up to the exciting James Bond theme followed a great vocal version of Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ from the 007 movie ‘No time to Die.’

All their sung numbers had smart moves in choreography and the tunes were rendered with the energy and conviction that we are used to seeing from GAMPA. All too soon, part one was over and I wondered what else they had up their sleeves.

Part two opened to a riveting performance by the orchestra.

From ‘Moulin Rouge’ we had Sting’s ‘Roxanne’ in tango rhythm. Their finest piece so far, it captured all the drama and was played with gusto.

The Gibraltar Youth Choir belted out Lady Gaga’s ’Always remember us this Way’ from ‘When the Sun goes Down’, followed by with Roxette’s ‘It must have been Love’ and what a great choir sound that was.

Disney’s High School Musical was represented by ‘We’re all in this Together’ which was highly acclaimed and superseded by the Monkees’ 1966 classic ‘I’m a Believer’.

We were all thoroughly enjoying the build-up to the finale with Grease’s ‘You’re the One that I Want’ chased by Fame and Flashdance - until their piece de resistance - a ‘Mama Mia’ medley which had a glorious ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Mama Mia,’ both with huge choir and orchestral sound from the vast number of performers now spilling out of the stage onto the audience.

What a way to wind up a great show which nearly blew off the old roof of the John Mac theatre.

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