Some Like it Hip Hop

ZooNation

Birmingham Hippodrome

****

WHATEVER it is it's loud, fast, furious and fun and it is not just some who will like it.

The script is no more than a paragraph. The Governor is a good guy, marries teenage sweetheart and has a daughter. Happy families! then his wife dies, so he shuts out the sun, bans bppks, downgrades women to seen but never heard status and becomes a bit of a tyrant. But then he sees the light through his long lost daughter, takes the sun out of its box and everyone lives happily ever after.

Thrown in to the mix, with a nod of acknowledgement to Billy Wilder and the classic 1959 comedy we have two girls hiding by dressing as men. A few love affairs on the side and everyone seems to communicated by dance.

So dressed around that simple story are some stunning dance routines, some quality songs and imaginative lighting and sets.

Duwane Taylor is an impressive Governor, he is a big lad, and moves like a good ‘un in a cast littered with star dancers including Tommy Franzen as Simeon Sun and Lizzie Gough as Jo-Jo, both who were in So You Think You Can Dance and Blaze and Teneisha Bonner, who was in Zoo Nations' first production Into the Hoods, as Kerri.

There are seasoned dancers such as Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, another veteran of Blaze, Shaun Paul Smith , again from Into the Hoods as was Sarah Richards who was second in the 2008 World Hip Hop Championships.

The sound was perhaps the weakest  part of the show. The music is loud, which is OK, it is that sort of show, loud and brash, but the bass is at rock concert levels and while vibrating the seats might be cool and funky it does artists no favours when a couple of numbers, and one acoustic number in particular,  are remembered more for the distortion than their content.

The music and words by musical directors DJ Walde and Josh Cohen worthy of better with a compelling mix from Delta Blues to funk with R&B thrown in.

As a show it is lively, great fun and a real crowd pleaser.

Roger Clarke 

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