Mamma Mia, Hairspray, Les Mis and more inspire a surge of interest in theatre group

The cast of Anything Goes learn harmonies at the piano with the show's musical director, Lynne Loose.
The cast of Anything Goes learn harmonies at the piano with the show's musical director, Lynne Loose.

The widespread popularity of cinematic versions of musicals is said to be behind a surge of support for a Boston theatre group.

Producers at BOS Musical Theatre Group, formerly Boston Operatic Society, said they were overwhelmed by the turnout for the audition workshop of their next production, Anything Goes.

More than 60 people took part in auditions and it has resulted in a cast of 42 and the creation of a new rehearsal class.

Chairman Stuart Bull said: “Our open auditions are always well attended, however, in recent years with cinema versions of Sweeney Todd, Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables proving popular the interest in musicals has exploded.

“The attendance at our latest workshop was quite incredible.”

Rehearsals started last week as cast members began to learn harmonies and the dance routine for the opening number.

The group, which formed in 1964 under the name Boston Operatic Society, performs two shows a year at Blackfriars.

Former members of the group include Natalie Day who recently played Jeannie in the European tour of Hair and Jake Samuels who is currently appearing in Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End.

Stuart added: “The National Operatic and Dramatic Association have awarded us ‘Best Musical of the Year’ in District 5 several times in recent years and that shows just how much talent there is in Boston.”

The group will perform Cole Porter’s Broadway hit Anything Goes from April 22-27, after rehearsing two evenings each week.

With a cast of 42, the show promises to be quite big.

Spokesman Rob Barclay said the group were having to get a double tiered set built to accommodate the cast.

He said: “We’ve had a big response, got more numbers involved than we have done previously.”

He also said there is a greater number of men taking part.

“The women tend to do musical theatre but this time we see, to have new males involved as well.”

He believes people often prefer the all-round experience of a stage show to the silver screen if they are able to get out to a theatre.

BOS Musical Theatre will be performing Anything Goes from April 22-27 at 7.30pm. 
The story concerns antics aboard an ocean liner from New York to London. 
Stowaway Billy Crocker is in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin aid Billy in his quest to win Hope.
Tickets cost £12.50. To book call 01205 363108.

Musical films have grown in popularity over the last few years.
They include a number of adaptations of successful stage productions including Mamma Mia in 2008, Les Miserables late last year, Hairspray in 2007 and Chicago in 2002.

Is your theatre group performing particularly well or had success recently? Email, or call 01205 363108.