The Other Palace (venue)
06 November 2019 (released)
10 November 2019
Downstairs at The Other Palace, there’s a speakeasy feel, with musicians on double bass and keys gently riffing on some familiar themes from the golden age of musicals. We take our seats, glass in hand and Freddy Larceney, narrator and loveable villain welcomes us to an evening of music with the title song, ‘Reputation’. Apparently that’s all we need to get us out of trouble. It’s clear from the off that we’re in for some quality tunes and sharp performances as well.
It’s 1935 and recovering from the Great Depression, the major Hollywood studios are clamouring for new scripts. Meanwhile in Paris, bright and bushy tailed Michelle Grant has skipped language classes to finish her first film script back at the dormitory. Encouraged by her classmates, she submits her work in response to an advert in ‘Variety’ and waits in anxious hope for a response. Little does she know that it’s a scam set up by Freddy Larceny who has built himself a reputation on passing off other people’s scripts as his own.
Father and daughter duo, Alick and Suzanne Glass have co-written this sweet and familiar story of a feisty young heroine dreaming of hitting the big time with music and lyrics also by Alick Glass. But our heroine is a writer rather than the classic ‘chorus girl’ and with a little help from daddy, she refuses to be beaten by a system stacked against her.
Maddy Banks plays Michelle with charm and vocal precision and Ed Wade gives a funny and layered performance as her love interest, Archie White. Although the songs and scenes are unashamedly derivative, they repeatedly hit the mark with stand out numbers including, ‘I nearly had it all’ and ‘Remember.’ Any objections to a happy ending? Because that’s what your going to get and some gorgeous, nostalgic tunes that sweep the two hours away in a delightful haze.