Review: Remembering the Oscars

Functioning as something of a taster for a full-length show planned for 2022, this glittering tribute to the songs and routines of Hollywood teams Strictly Come Dancing regulars and married couple Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara with a talented supporting cast to bring us an hour of glitz and glamour.

With films represented as diverse as The Gay Divorcee, Rocky, An American in Paris, La La Land, All That Jazz, and Mary Poppins, the title of Remembering the Oscars covers a fairly large area of both winners, nominees, and more, not necessarily from titles or performers we would think of as musicals.

The name of the game in this taster, tbough, is fun, fantasy, and a touch of tripping the light fantastic. Working with director/choreographer Gareth Walker, and guest vocalists Giovanni Spanó and Janine Johnson, Aljaž and Janette samba, tango and waltz their way from a cheeky MGM lion and red carpet opener to a full-blown Disney tribute.

Filmed across a couple of days at the cavernous Bournemouth International Centre, with linking bits at the London’s Apollo Theatre, Remembering the Oscars is big, brash, and – in a sequence which resurrects the ‘Best Choreography’ category from the height of movie musical mania in the mid-1930s, reverential to the art of the dance floor.

Suspend your disbelief, allow Janette to ‘sing’, through the conceit of lip synching, and enjoy the ensemble dancers (including the talented Australian Ash-Leigh Hunter, who shines in the Evita section, and Scott Coldwell, who also acts as associate creative).

Following on from their 2017 showcase Remembering Fred (Astaire), this is an accomplished and happy celebration which will appeal to Strictly fans and love of spectacle alike.

Leigh Mulpeter’s lively lighting design illuminates the BIC with that movie magic and a sprinkle of stardust. Don’t you want to be back in a live audience experiencing shows again?

All tickets for Remembering the Oscars come with a digital programme featuring cheesy photos and bite-sized Oscar facts, plus the whole schedule of the full show’s 2022 tour (tickets available here).

There are two additional bits of content which give more of an insight into the creation of the show at £5 each: an interview with Aljaž and Janette, and a behind the scenes peek.

Remembering the Oscars is streaming until 17 April – tickets here. Tonight’s launch (27 March) will be accompanied by an aftershow Instagram Live with the leads.

Image credit: Ryan K Howard

LouReviews received complimentary access to review Remembering the Oscars.