Star belts out big numbers

Elaine PaigeRegent Theatre, Ipswich.

Derek Davis

Elaine Paige

Regent Theatre, Ipswich.

IT may be 40 years since Elaine Paige made her West End debut but boy can she still belt out a tune.

What started out as a somewhat breathless opener with 'Life Goes on' Ms Paige took a rapt audience through her life on Broadway and London's TheatreLand.

Her songs were interspersed with a narrative.

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After explaining how she was plucked from the chorus line to star in 'Hair' we were taken through 42nd Street, Jesus Christ Superstar' before ending the first half with her signature tune 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' - performed as spellbinding as ever.

As Eva Peron in Evita, MsPaige was hailed for acting as well as her singing. She is bound to have won an award or two for name dropping along the way too, although last night the reason became all too apparent.

Paul McCartney was mentioned, after all it was 'Yesterday' that she sung in the auditions to get the part in Evita.

She also sang 'Let's Shoot the Breeze' written by Dustin Hoffman and Bette Midler that dovetailed well into mentioning she has a new album out - essential Collections if you didn't know and her show on Radio Two got plenty of mentions.

Wearing the very costume she wore on Broadway a section from 'Sunset Boulevard' followed and that quickly moved to “Sweeney Todd', Chess and 'Anything Goes'.

Among her many costume changes, Elaine got into character to hammer out Edith Piaff numbers but the encore was the classic 'Memory' from 'Cats' that will live in the minds of an appreciative Ipswich crowd for some time.

Derek Davis

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