The music has all been written to entertain. Each song is designed to fit the moment with musical styles ranging through Gilbert and Sullivan, traditional musical theatre, tango, waltz and even a bit of rock and roll.
An audience attending a new show needs to become familiar with the music as quickly as possible so most of the themes are heralded in the overture and in the musical preludes – and some of the tunes reappear in different guises throughout the show which gives it feeling of cohesion and allows the audience to sit back and enjoy the words. Some characters have themes of their own – sort of leitmotifs – and this is used to good effect in the finale.
There are twenty musical numbers including the overture. The chorus sing in ten of these – sometimes in unison – sometimes in harmony. Some of the harmony is four-part but because four-part harmony can take up a lot of rehearsal time, much of the harmony is two part or three part (sops, alto and men)
To hear extracts and see extracts of the score, click here
Particularly striking numbers for the soloists are:
- For Once in My Life (musical number 7) – a short little love song that is reprised as a duet in the Finale (pt 2) – musical number 19
- Valerie’s aspiration solo – musical number 9
- Iris’s patter song – musical number 17
For the chorus, musical numbers 6 (Count on us) and 12 (I wanna be a celebrity) are particularly fun. The chorus also get in on the farcical goings on with musical number 16 (A little operation). Here they have to keep switching back and forth between being celebrities (singing and dancing a tango) and old folk (singing and dancing a waltz)
A Rehearsal CD is available to help people learn the music. For each chorus part and for each solo part, the part itself is played on one speaker while the accompaniment and the other parts on the other speaker.