The Sound of Musicals

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Alison Kerr Four stars

There’s something for everyone in the annual Sound of Musicals concert in the Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival at the Concert Hall. There are great songs from nine decades’ worth of shows from Broadway and the West End, a terrific band (the Scottish Concert Orchestra) and a quartet of singers who are no strangers to those New York and London stages.

There’s also usually fun to be derived from discussing the female singers’ frocks – which clearly aren’t approved by a third party before they hit the stage if the examples worn by Summer Strallen are anything to go by. Fashion critics – or indeed anyone with eyes – couldn’t help but notice that the first half dress was unintentionally see-through while what there was of a second half outfit could only have been inspired by a Kardashian re-imaginging of the show Gypsy, the Stephen Sondheim overture of which opened Wednesday night’s proceedings.

Apart from a couple of dreary Sondheim songs which bogged down the start of the second half, this was a well-judged programme with many memorable moments, most notably the leader of the violin section singingalonga-ing Hopelessly Devoted to You with the rest of us …. while she played.

Other highlights included a hugely entertaining duet of Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat performed by Graham Bickley and Tim Howar, a dynamo of a singer whose exuberance and joie-de-vivre on such ballads as On the Street Where You Live were striking.

Summer Strallen proved a natural on such sassy numbers as I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair and Broadway Baby, while Kerry Ellis dazzled with her Getting to Know You and Losing My Mind. A fun night.