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YOU wouldn’t believe the random items and emails that arrive on the desk of an entertainment editor. In Spotlight on... I’ll highlight the ones that might otherwise slip under the radar, have some cult value or simply just be worth mentioning again. This week ...



“Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl...” - The unforgettable opening lyric of Barry Manilow’s Grammy award-winning hit Copacabana from the musical of the same name.

It’s a musical the members of Edinburgh amateur dramatic company Allegro will be far more familiar with by the end of this month after they present their production of the feel-good hit at the Church Hill Theatre.

A tale of love and romance, set at the heart of the swinging nightclub scene of the 1940s, Copacabana follows Stephen, an aspiring songwriter who is desperate to create the world’s next big hit.

Taking his inspiration from the world famous Copacabana nightclub in New York City, where music and passion are always the fashion, audiences are introduced to Lola La Mar as she is launched on the path to stardom as a Copa Girl, with a little help from Tony Forte, a bartender with dreams of his own.

As in all the best tales, however, things don’t always run to plan. Enter Rico and Conchita - the disreputable owner of the Tropicana Club in Havana and his Cuban star.

Cobacabana, which opens on Tuesday and runs for a week, comes hot on the heels of Allegro’s 2010 production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Principles include some familiar faces of the Edinburgh amateur scene with Eddie McDowell playing Rico, Fraser Jamieson as Tony and Laura Reed as aging Copa Girl Gladys.

Allegro president Linsey Brack says, “We are all looking forward to bringing Copacabana to life. We picked this show because it is the perfect mix and genuinely has something for everyone.

“Barry Manilow is an extremely talented songwriter and the entire cast has worked hard to ensure we do his composing justice.

“We are itching to get on stage and with show less than a week away we cant wait to bring that fun from rehearsals to the stage.

“This is a high-energy, fun-filled show that is sure to leave the audience with a smile on their face at the final curtain.”

Copacabana, Church Hill Theatre, Morningside Road, Tuesday-Saturday, 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2.30pm), £10-£13, 07526-718 676



THE Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art launched the first in an annual series of exhibitions devoted to the Scottish Colourists this week.

The inaugural exhibition, which turns the focus on FCB Cadell, will be the first major retrospective of his work to be held in a public gallery in almost 70 years and will bring together almost 80 paintings, from collections across the UK, many of which have rarely, if ever, been shown in public before.

Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, to give the artist his full name, lived between 1883-1937.

He is one of the four artists popularly known as The Scottish Colourists, the other being SJ Peploe, JD Fergusson and GL Hunter.

Cadell’s work is regarded by many as the most elegant of the four - he is renowned for his stylish portrayals of Edinburgh New Town interiors and the sophisticated society that occupied them.

The exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is the first devoted to Cadell’s work in a public gallery since 1942.

The world-record price for a painting by Cadell sold at auction, £553,000 for Florian’s Cafe In Venice, was achieved last year, reflecting a growing interest in his work.

The exhibition will be complemented by a display of some of the objects depicted in Cadell’s paintings, including bowls, vases and a silver teapot, together with archival material such as letters and photographs.

The Scottish Colourist Series: FCB Cadell, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Belford Road, Saturday-18 March 2012, £7, 0131-624 6200


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