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Edinburgh Fringe 2011: Broadway Swings

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There is a very excellent reason why music written over half a century ago still gets played in abundance today, and that’s because it’s really, really good.

Conducted by Paul Gudgin, The Razz Big Band swung the night away to a collection of Broadway jazz standards and some lesser well known pieces, defying the audience to not get swept away on a musical ride.

Fronted by talented trio Bobby Mitchell, Susie Dumbreck and Rachel Brown on vocals the Big Band singers belted out backing vocals complete with tight harmonies and actions to move the pieces along.

Dumbreck’s strident voice suits her opening number of 'Don’t Rain on my Parade' down to the ground and she could easily give Streisand a run for her money in the power stakes.

Brown’s smooth tone wins over the audience on more than one occasion with her delicate rendition of “Over the Rainbow” during the Judy Garland medley, being particularly memorable. A song that can often be over sung, Brown’s performance was well tuned with the song’s sentiment and expertly backed by both the choir and the band. A feisty duet of “He’s a tramp” really showcased both vocalists and gave the audience quite a spectacle too.

Mitchell’s dulcet tones opened the show and various members of the choir had their own solo lines and were showcased in numbers such as “Too Darn Hot” and “You Can’t Stop The Beat”. The Razz Big Band treated the audience to an instrumental arrangement of pieces from West Side Story and bar a few missed cues and less than tight movements from the choir, a near perfect evening. 

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