Copacabana hits the Encore stage

July 15, 2011

LIMA — Whether you’re a Fanilow or new to the music, Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” will get you dancing in your seat this weekend at Encore Theatre.“This show is just a good time. It’s bright colors, fast music and wonderful dancing,” said Julie Kerr, director of the show.And it’s all written by Barry Manilow from his song, “Copacabana.”The story of the show began when Dick Clark told Manilow his 1978 hit song should be made into a movie. In 1985, Manilow wrote the script for the made-for-TV movie, which garnered two Emmy nominations. That show morphed into a nightclub performance that topped the bill in Atlantic City. Popularity from that caused Manilow, along with fellow songwriters Jack Feldman and Bruce Sussman, to create a full length stage-play.The story follows an aspiring writer as he composes a song he hopes will become a hit. In doing so, his imagination takes him back to 1947 and involves all the intrigue and flash of the showgirl, Lola. “It’s really a show for all ages. I’m suggesting parental guidance because there is a very minimal amount of violence, but the children who have sat through rehearsals have been fine. Without giving away the ending, I will tell you it’s different than the song, and it’s not really the tragedy the song implies,” Kerr said.And for this performance, the 20-member cast sings and dances, as well as delivers their lines.“The whole group was so excited about this show. They love to sing and dance, and they have such passion for this music. Lynn Brunk is the musical director, and we have a choreography team that’s been wonderful in bringing all of this to life,” Kerr said.And of course, there are the actors. “We have a great variety of ages, as well as experience levels. We have one man who has been with Encore for years, and we have a senior citizen who is making his first appearance, so we have a lot of fun onstage,” Kerr said.“Whether you’re a fan of Barry Manilow or not, it’s a fun show you won’t want to miss,” she said.