What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Reviewed by Nikki Cotter

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The award-winning producers who brought audiences the hugely popular Whitney – Queen Of The Night have joined forces once again with incredible vocalist Elesha Paul Moses to celebrate another iconic performer this time Tina Turner in sensational new show What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Strutting on stage in glitzy gold sequins, supported by backing singers/dancers and an impressive showband, Elesha bursts into a note-perfect performance of Steamy Windows immediately taking the atmosphere up a notch she’s greeted by whoops of appreciation from the keen audience. She sounds incredibly like Tina Turner and has the legendary stars iconic moves down to a tee. This Liverpool audience needs no encouragement to let their hair down and from the off let Elesha & Co know they are here to party.

The classics continue as we shift effortlessly into Private Dancer before Elesha takes us back to 1983 with a smooth rendition of Let’s Stay Together which the audience delight in singing along to.

Elesha’s unstoppable energy shows no sign of slowing as she belts out Wilson Pickett’s Land of 1000 Dances and In The Midnight Hour complete with Tina’s trademark swagger and jerky leg kicks.

A swift costume change takes us to the Mad Max era where sequins have been replaced by post-apocalyptic silver and Tina’s tussles become a sleek cropped wig. A dramatic delivery of We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) takes us into the interval leaving the audience’s appetites suitably wetted.

Part 2 opens with a sultry version of I Can’t Stand The Rain delivered in perfect harmony by Elesha and her backing singers, each sat on high stools swathed with crimson light complete with a superb saxophone solo.

The tempo is ramped up again with a powerful performance of Addicted To Love followed by a high-energy Rolling Stones medley of Jumpin’ Jack Flash and It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (But I Like It).

As the lights dim the first bars of Golden Eye strike up; the backing dancers enter dressed in flamboyant Vegas showgirl style costumes as Elesha joins them for a powerful rendition of the classic Bond Theme, her vocals soaring through every inch of the Liverpool Empire’s expansive space.

What’s Love Got To Do With It is greeted by huge appreciation from the audience while When The Heartache Is Over almost becomes the anthem of the night as people leap up from their seats to sing in solidarity with each other.

The fizzing energy from the audience is rewarded with a quick costume change into an iconic Tina style red beaded number; a clear indication that party time has arrived. The hits come thick and fast in this final part of the show whipping the audience into a Tina induced frenzy, River Deep Mountain High ensures every bum if off its seat and wiggling away in time to the music. Simply The Best sends the atmosphere soaring followed by a knock-out performance of Nutbush City Limits which leads into the infectiously brilliant Proud Mary leaving the audience on a massively feel-good high.

What’s Love Got To Do With It? is an enormously entertaining night out, Elesha Paul Moses is a true talent and this upbeat celebration of the iconic Tina Turner will leave you without any doubt that she is simply the best, top-class entertainment!

Further information and tour dates can be found here.

 

 

Dirty Dancing

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Based on the iconic 1987 movie starring the incredible Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, this revamped version using impressive new sets and songs from the movie not originally in the stage musical has been wowing audiences across the UK all year, reaching its final stop of the tour in Liverpool last night.

Director Federico Bellone, choreographer Gillian Bruce and designer Roberto Cometti, have sexed up the original stage musical (yes it’s EVEN sexier than before) as the classic story of Baby and Johnny is played out by the most talented of casts.

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Getting us all hot under the collar as Jonny Castle is the immensely talented and deliciously dangerous Lewis Griffiths, he literally made Liverpool scream as he stepped into Swayze’s Cuban heels and gave Baby (Katie Eccles) the summer of her life. The chemistry between the two is electrifying, you find yourself rooting for them right from the off, the buzz in the audience as we build up to ‘that’ lift is almost enough to raise the roof of the Empire. Eccles is superb as Baby as we see her find her inner strength and go after her heart’s desire. Indeed the energy from the entire cast is incredible; Carlie Milner makes for the most perfect Penny, her skill and talent quite breath-taking as she dances up a storm on stage.

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Roberto Cometti’s set is streets ahead of those we’ve seen in previous incarnations of this production, inventive and impressive it allows for real creativity in the staging. Add to this Gillian Bruce’s incredible choreography, sizzling, sexy and so so slick there’s no wonder audiences keep coming back for more.

Chock full of heartache, passion, sensational dance routines and all the classic hits fans know and love including Hungry Eyes, Hey! Baby, She’s Like The Wind and the legendary (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, this production is everything fans of the film could wish for. The hardworking cast deliver in spade loads, whipping the audience into just the right level of excitement before taking it up a notch again, until we literally reach fever pitch at the finale, uplifting, exciting and hugely entertaining surpassing all previous productions, Dirty Dancing will undoubtedly give you the time of your life!

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With only five more days to catch this impressive production, head to www.dirtydancingontour.com/tickets-tour for tickets.

Liverpool Empire Mon 18th – Saturday 23rd September 2017