John Barrowman Opera House, Blackpool
FOR a high energy night in that's as much a fabulous party as a spectator-style show, John Barrowman is your dream guest.
With his effervescent personality and a humour as camp as Christmas, he engages with his audience to share some feelgood fun along with an amazingly varied
repertoire than only a voice as strong as his could get away with.
He leaps – literally – from Viva Las Vegas to Copacabana via Don't Rain On My Parade, with ballads interspersed – Don't Cry Out Loud and Nobody Does it Better to name just a couple. The Bellamy Brothers' Let Your Love Flow, though faster in tempo, is superbly suited to him.
In between, the producer in him blends scores of old photographs (featuring himself, mostly; no crisis of confidence for him) with costume changes and a few comical life stories told not only with self-deprecating humour, but with a liberal smattering of the risque.
A drag version of I Feel Like a Woman – complete with lady boys – and a colourful comic book heroes number alongside Spider-Man and Wonder Woman were tongue-in-cheek and went down well.
It all added up, last night, to a superb close to two-and-a-half hours of entertainment, rounded out by the appearance of Blackpool's own Jodie Prenger – described by her host as Britain's answer to Bette Midler – whose Cry Me A River was even better than her excellent Proud Mary which, with a down-to-earth style for which she is already famous, evoked her comment 'Keep clapping while I get my breath back'.
The capacity crowd needed no encouragement; it was standing room only but, by the end, when Mr Barrowman came back for a superb Rule The World and a showstopper finale of I Am What I Am, they were all on their feet anyway.
As well-known for his small screen successes in Torchwood and Desperate Housewives, he's only got two more nights of this tour to go before he's off to America for more filming.
He's promised he'll be coming back to Blackpool though – and it can't be too soon.