BeBopALula, Albany Theatre, Coventry, 17 Jan.
If you have dreams of driving a pink Cadillac into an all-American diner before putting a dime in the jukebox to play ‘True Love Ways,’ then BeBopALula is the show for you.
This high-energy musical performance led by two talented singers sees rock’n’roll giants Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Billy Fury and Buddy Holly brought to life. The show successfully remakes the sensation of a 1960s multi-artist rock ’n’ roll tour.
The stand out performance is by the lead singer who skilfully presents himself as an utterly convincing Buddy Holly one moment before transforming into the limping Gene Vincent the next.
Following in at a close second is the saxophonist who plays a blinding rendition of ‘Tequilla’. Given that a lot of the band members were last minute stand-ins for the show, the quality never wavered.
While all the songs have the audience nodding their heads and singing along, it’s the Buddy Holly classics that get them up rock ’n’ rolling in the aisles time after time. The audience members who got up to dance were so clearly skilled and enjoying themselves that they became a surprising distraction to the act.
The high-octane tribute performance is punctuated by a quiffed DJ appearing on film to announce the different singers. After a while the over- enthusiastic DJ started to wear a little thin, not least because the film and the the sound were badly synched. It was the only-low point in the show.
The in-joke seemed to be calling the audience a group of teenagers, which while so clearly far from the truth had theatre-goers well and truly flattered. By the end of the show the audience were up on their feet rocking and singing BeBopALula in surprising harmony.
There can be no doubt that the ‘older teenagers’ in the audience truly loved this show. It’s a must-see for anyone who loves donning a leather jacket before gelling their quiff.