I defy anybody of a certain age to say they have never heard of the song “Copacabana”, also known as “Copacabana (At the Copa)”, recorded by Barry Manilow in 1978. Written by Manilow, Jack Feldman and Bruce Sussman, it was released as the third and final single from Manilow’s fifth studio album, Even Now (1978). Yes, I had the album and I saw Manilow perform one of his sold-out shows at Wembley in 1980; my first big concert. And a very memorable one as he is a truly remarkable performer.
When Barry performed the song Copacabana, which tells the story of showgirl Lola and her relationship with songwriter Tony, the song was aching to form the backbone of a fully blown musical.
In 1985 Manilow duly obliged, with the help of Feldman and Sussman as Copacabana started life as a made-for-television musical starring Manilow as Tony, which evolved into a full-length stage musical that ran at the West End’s Prince of Wales Theatre for two years (1994-96) prior to a lengthy UK Tour.
The show has started touring the UK again and is at the Opera House, Jersey from today until Friday. The cast will be led by Jon Lee (Jersey Boys, Les Miserables) as Tony Starr
and Richard Grieve (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Sam Silver
And introducing Jennifer Harding as Lola.
I am really looking forward to seeing the show on Friday. After Jersey, the show travels on to:
Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre (27 October-1 November)
Newcastle Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre (3-7 November)
Blackpool Grand Theatre (10-15 November)
Billingham Forum Theatre (17-22 November)
Although we understand further dates will be announced.