SAVE The Last Dance For Me will feature the finest music from the early 60s when it opens at the Waterside on Monday – but co-writer Laurence
Marks warns it is not all ‘light and frothy’, describing it as ‘a light story with a heavy subject’.
The show follows a white 17 year-old-girl from Luton who falls in love with a black US Air Force engineer, whilst on holiday with her sister.
It is written by Marks and Maurice Gran – the two-men behind jukebox-musical Dreamboats and Petticoats and TV shows Goodnight Sweetheart and Birds Of A Feather
Marks says: “After Dreamboats we thought there is no point in doing that again, lets put a bit more spice into the equation.
“What interested us was the US air forces bases over here. At the time they had money and style and most people here had nothing. The juxtaposition interested us. It is a light story with a heavy subject.”
He claims they ‘would have made it far more intense’ but it was felt that ‘you will lose the music’.
Save The Last Dance For Me features a host of popular songs by 60s writers Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, including Sweets For My Sweet, Viva Las Vegas and Can’t Get Used To Losing You.
“I guarantee you will be singing at least three of the songs when you leave,” says Marks – who says his only criticism of Legally Blonde The Musical (which was on stage last week at the Waterside) was the songs. He claims they were all ‘forgettable’ and he could not remember any of the tunes from act one when he sat back down in his seat ready for act two.
“When your writing a musical, the music helps – a lot of people forget it,” he explains.
Marks says that nostalgia is the key to his new show. “Everyone loves looking back and thinks that the 1960s was wonderful. Of course it wasn’t as wonderful as everyone remembers – we lived through it. But people gloss over the problems to recall the great music.”