The Rod Stewart Musical Tonight's The Night
The Princess Theatre Torquay
Fans of Rod Stewart packed out the venue to see this upbeat and vibrant production, which is jam packed with more than 25 of the Scottish singer's biggest hits.
To be fair though, you didn't have to be a fan of the husky voiced rocker to enjoy this colourful theatre offering.
Admittedly the story line is a tad absurd, but it works brilliantly as a stage show.It follows geek Stuart (Ben Heathcote) who is in love with a girl called Mary (Jenna Lee James).
He does a deal with the devil (Tiffany Graves) whereby he's given Rod Stewart's soul so he'll have the confidence to win over his girl and live a rock and roll lifestyleAlong the way he meets up with naughty English rocker Stoner (Micheal McKell) and before long he's touring America with plenty of girls at his feet, but without his love.
He gets a second chance to win back his soul and Mary .... cue a happy ending.It's a slick production with a quality cast, top vocals and lights you'd see at some of the biggest arena concerts
You could see from curtain up that the cast were loving every minute of being in the smash hit musical and that definitely rubbed off on the audience, who were singing along throughout.
The modern and intricate choreography also really helped set the scene and there was plenty of dance routines for the cast to show off their fancy footwork.
However, ultimately it's the songs that really sell this musical.It's a jolly romp including Rod's biggest numbers, including Baby Jane, Stay With Me, Maggie May, Hot Legs and Do You Think I'm Sexy.It also included tender ballads including First Cut is the Deepest and I Don't Wanna Talk About it.
For the encore the fun mega-mix had the audience on their feet and dancing in the aisles, complete with sailor hats (handed out by theatre staff) for the Rod anthem Sailing.Ben Heathcote did a grand job as the leading man and had the perfect voice to pull off the classic tracks. I just wish he was a little bit bigger built.
I think it would give the character more clout.However, he still had charisma in abundance and had the audience in the palm of his hand from the first scene.
Former Sugababe singer Jade Ewan, who plays Dee Dee, was also in fine voice and showed she's more than just a pop singer and didn't miss a note.Leading lady Jenna Lee- James is also a class act and belted out her numbers with power and conviction.
Michael McKell's really hammed up aging rocker character Stoner and added a splash of comedy and plenty of innuendos to the production.
His performance was winner with the audience and added welcome light relief.
The Ben Elton musical first opened in 2003 in London's West End and is still going strong and it's easy to see why- it's a feel good musical and you can't help but feel uplifted.
I was singing Rod hits all the way home!