REVIEW: Glenn Miller’s music remembered in superb tribute show

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There were other outfits in the Big Band era – Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw etc but none left a legacy comparable to Glenn Miller.

Indeed, his music defines an era, whether via his original aggregation or, as Major Glenn Miller with his Army Air Force band.

More than 70 years ago his plane disappeared on a foggy night over the English Channel.

He was only 40 but his name lives on and due tribute was paid by Tommy Steele in The Glenn Miller Story (Theatre Royal, Nottingham).

At 79, Steele is long in the tooth to be playing a man half his age and belief has to be suspended as the youthful suitor woos the lovely Abigail Jaye as Helen, his wife-to- be.

Perhaps a younger actor might fit the bill here but otherwise it works. After all, it is 60 years since his emergence as Britain’s first rock star and he has packed in a wealth of musical theatre experience.

He reminisces about Miller’s career before getting into character. The first half details the bandleader’s rise and quest for the elusive ‘Miller sound’ achieved as Moonlight Serenade closes the act.

Then the show takes flight with a string of those marvelous hits delivered by a superb 16-piece orchestra, backed by Bill Deamer’s excellent choreography.

Take your pick for a highlight – Jaye’s lovely At Last, Steele’s The Nearness of You, the band at its best in Chattanooga Choo-Choo or String of Pearls, the list goes on.

See the show until Saturday September 17. Tickets are priced from £15-£39. Visit www.trch.co.uk or call 0115 989555.