Sadlers Wells truly is one of a kind that never disappoints. Every production I’ve ever seen there, or its glorious West End sister venue The Peacock Theatre, has been glorious. My expectations therefore are high for tonight’s show. Enter stage right, with a paparazzi lightbulb flash and a red carpet sashay, is Remembering The Oscars starring Strictly Come Dancing’s favourite couple Aljaz Skojanec and Janette Manrara. In a word: FAB-UL-OUS!
Following on from their 2019 sell-out Remembering The Movies, their new and ambitious show was twice postponed due to, well you know what. However as we are now stepping back into those bright stage lights once more, Remembering The Oscars was finally given the ‘action’ call and has been delighting audiences up throughout the UK on its 40 date tour.
From the very first growl of the iconic MGM lion to the famed twirl of the La La Land’s yellow dress, this show catapults you to the red carpets of Hollywood, It’s enticing from the very start. Act One kicks off with Opening Ceremony which sees the 12 strong cast dance and sing through a host of famous Oscar winning movies. It’s glorious, high energy and thrilling. With the pace of a Will Smith slap we move straight onto the Best Actor category, including homages to some acclaimed film performances including Marlon Brando in The Godfather and Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s all interpreted beautifully by Aljaz and show dance captain Ash-Leigh Hunter. Our next award is for Best Actress, which again see our gorgeous leads and cast give tribute to some silver screen greats. Aljaž and Ash-Leigh’s dance to Madonna’s You Must Love Me from Evita is stunning. But it’s Janette and Robbie Kmetoni’s breath-taking homage to Natalie Portman’s Oscar-winning stint in Black Swan that is a definite show highlight for me. A special shout out must also go to singer Janine Johnson whose interpretation of Barbara Streisand’s Don’t Rain On My Parade from Oscar winning favourite Funny Girl, was jaw droppingly good. What a talent!
If that wasn’t enough, Act One wraps up with Best Choreography which we learn is, understandably, Aljaz and Janette favourite. From 42nd Street to Singin In The Rain, La La Land to a jaw dropping Chicago’s All That Jazz (sung by Janette beautifully!), this whole section is sublime. I’m unashamedly prone to a musical, so this act one finale induces goosebumps and sheer unadulterated joy.
Act Two sashays straight into The Magic of Disney which sees performances for some of the greatest animated ever created; Mary Poppins, Lion King, Aladdin, to name a few. Again, truly sublime. With the flip of opening the wrong envelope we arrive at the coveted Best Film category where Aljaz and Janette’s Argentine tango from Scent Of A Woman provides another show highlight. Best Score offers nods to John Williams, Hanz Zimmer and everyone’s favourite Oscar winning song My Heart Will Go On. The finale is Celebrating Dance Movies, so we’re treated to a juggernaut of back-to-back routines from Fame, Footloose, West Side Story and Guys & Dolls…the list goes on and on.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I had such a glorious night watching a dance show. Remembering The Oscars is camp, creative and wild. With their undeniable sense of humour and abundant talent Aljaz and Janette created a juggernaut of a show. Ending with A Chorus Line’s One is the perfect cherry on the top as the entire cast, much like the coveted golden statue himself, shine and sparkle. Go see this show!
Co-creators and choreography: Aljaz Skojanec and Janette Manrara
Producer: Steven Howard for The TCB Group
Director and choreograoer: Gareth Walker
Musical Supervisor: Rob Eckland
Costume Designer: Francis Campbell
Remembering The Oscars has completed its current tour. Check the show’s website here for further information.