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Officer and a Gentleman - an 80s uplifting musical that had the audience's attention from start to finish!

"Officer and a Gentleman: The Musical" took centre stage on opening night at the prestigious Grand Opera House Belfast last night, offering audiences a theatrical rendition of the beloved 80s movie. I have to be honest and shamefully admit to not having seen the original film and relying solely on the plot summary from Wikipedia before attending the show.


 

The show is presented in collaboration with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros Theatre Ventures, "Officer and a Gentleman: The Musical" is structured around the original screenplay by Douglas Day Stewart, with a captivating direction by Nikolai Foster and choreography by Joanna Goodwin.


The story follows Zack Mayo, a Navy Officer candidate, as he undergoes rigorous training at a naval aviation school.  Along the way, Zach encounters obstacles, forms relationships with his fellow candidates and falls in love with local factory worker Paula.  The musical explores themes of love, friendship and the pursuit of dreams amidst the challenges of military life.  Throughout the show, the audience is treated to high-energy musical numbers, emotional ballads and inspiring moments of triumph.  


The show is an 80s kids' dream with the hairstyles and fashions combined with elements of campness from men in crisp white uniforms, underwear and tracksuits dancing up a storm to choreographed pieces underscored by a soundtrack featuring huge 80s hits from artists like Madonna, Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, and Blondie.

 

Reviewing this particular show tonight was special for me in that my long-time friend from my time in the PR and Entertainment business, Wendi Harriott is playing Aunt Bunny in the show. As is the norm with my Wendi she gave the role her all and displayed that powerhouse vocal of hers effortlessly, all those years providing backing vocals for some of the biggest names in the industry really did show.

 

Luke Baker's (lead character Zack Mayo) was the standout performance of the night, his vocals were immense and his acting skills were backed by an impressive array of theatre credits that solidified his deserving position as the lead. Similarly, Georgia Lennon (Female lead character Paula Pokrifki) drew from her past experiences at the Opera House to deliver a compelling and engaging performance.

 

Jamal Kane Crawford's portrayal of Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley was powerful and captivating, instilling a sense of fear not only in his on-stage pupils but the entire audience. Despite it being his first major lead theatre role, Jamal's performance was truly professional with great depth.

 

Sinead Long and Melanie Masson also really deserve a mention for their exceptional vocal prowess, seamlessly hitting high notes and delivering powerful performances that left a lasting impact on the audience. The collective vocal strength and harmonious blend of the entire cast and ensemble are to be commended for enhancing the overall quality of the musical production, I could have easily closed my eyes and thought I was at the West End or on Broadway.

 

If you have not got your tickets for this show yet, gather up your girls and guys and get yourself down to the opera house for a fun filled night of entertainment!  


The show runs at the Grand Opera House from March 12th to March 16th with two daily performances. For ticket bookings and further information visit www.goh.co.uk

 

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