THE MONTH IN FOCUS

Keep Believin' with Westrock on Saturday 16 January.

Music maketh the month

A host of classic songs from across the Atlantic define January at Theatre Royal Wakefield

So, with another soaraway success of a pantomime season at an end, normality returns to Theatre Royal Wakefield as (following a much-needed few days' pause to draw breath) the January 2016 season begins.

There's a tuneful theme to the first three productions, starting on Saturday 16 with Westrock, a celebration of America's melodic AOR sound, taking in the hits of legendary bands including Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Santana, Steely Dan, Boston, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Whether you prefer to stay in Sweet Home Alabama or head for the Hotel California, the show will have your memory Reelin' In The Years.

More American classics can be heard on Friday 22 in The Simon and Garfunkel Story. Dean Elliott (Paul) and Joe Sterling (Art), together with an authentic backing band, trace the rise of two young New York boys to become the biggest-selling duo of all time through era-defining songs such as Mrs Robinson, The Sound Of Silence, Scarborough Fair and Bridge Over Troubled Water. It traces their career across the years of worldwide success, their acrimonious split and solo careers, through to their triumphant 1981 reunion concert in their home city's Central Park, in a show The Stage summed up as “authentic and exciting”.

The stream of US-produced hits continues the following evening, Saturday 23, with a much-requested return of Let's Hang On, a journey through the hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Oh What A Night the audience should be in for as this and the likes of Sherry Baby, Big Girls Don't Cry, Grease and Can't Take My eyes Off You. “You guys are dynamite,” Valli himself told the cast of the show – now that's not a bad recommendation at all!

From Wednesday 27 to Friday 29, there's a Shakespearian interlude courtesy of Merely Theatre – see the early season highlights page here for details – before the month ends on a musically satirical note with Politically Incorrect on Saturday 30. Pianist and vocalist Peter Gill takes the audience on a jaunt through the best-loved songs of the master satirist Tom Lehrer. Originally written over 50 years ago Lehrer's songs and his irreverent attitude have survived the passage of time – though his satire is now perhaps darker and more politically incorrect than most of today's wits would risk…

For times, ticket prices and booking, go to www.theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk or call the box office on 01924 211311.

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© WF Live 2015