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    Monday 25 November 2002
    Elly's Diary - Goodbye Copacabana!
    Elly as Lola.
    Elly Farrar as Lola

    The Colin Smith Luton Youth Musical Theatre have now performed Barry Manilow's hit musical, Copacabana, to huge critical acclaim. Leading lady Elly Farrar, lets us have a final sneaky peak into her diary.


    Sneak into Lola's rehearsal diary:
    Elly's Diary: Week 4
    Elly's Diary: Week 3
    Elly's Diary: Week 2 Elly's Diary: Week 1

    BBC Beds, Herts & Bucks Theatre

    Barry Manilow
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    The Colin Smith Luton Youth Musical Theatre


    get in contact

    02 December 2002

    Elly Farrar
    Her name is Lola, she is a showgirl! Elly, 18, played the leading lady Lola in Copacabana, a thrilling tribute to the movie musicals of the 1940s. From tricky dance moves to voice coaching, she has told us all about what's been happening as they entered the final days of rehearsal. Elly Farrar.

    I started this diary five weeks ago at which point I had no idea that our production of Copacabana could have been pulled off, let alone been as successful as it has been!

    The week leading up to the show Dale had had a cold, and shock horror, on Monday morning I woke up and had caught it off of him!! I went to the emergency doctor to be told I had a huge throat ulcer and that I could need a blood test for Glandular Fever!! I was put on antibiotics and that afternoon my boyfriend came round with every medicine he could find, including some Chinese tablets that didn’t even have a name!

    Katie Brennan, in the dress rehearsal, had to sing every note for me and all day Tuesday I worked at getting my voice up to scratch.

    The first night for us as a cast seemed almost like the ‘real’ dress rehearsal. A lot of us missed our cues, including me, and nobody was completely sure of what they were doing.

    On Wednesday afternoon I went onto the website and was thrilled to see all the comments everyone had put on about the show. I printed them all off and put them up backstage on Wednesday night.

    Conchita and dancers

    That night the performance was like a different show. We all suddenly realised that we had something worth coming to see and that night it really was.

    However, I must say that our best audience, which helped make our best performance was Thursday night - they laughed at everything! It still amazes me though that one bit of ‘ad lib’ I was forced to do got the biggest laugh of the night.

    Tony, in act one goes to take Lola’s yellow feather out of her hair, which later becomes vital to the storyline, except on this night the feather really wasn’t coming out! So Lola told Tony: ‘It’s stayin’ in!’

    Although Friday’s audience didn’t quite match Thursday’s, the performance rose to another level still. The two people I have really enjoyed working with and for whom one of them was his first show was Carl Davidson who played Rico and Caroline Needham who played his long suffering wife, Conchita.

    My favourite scene in the whole show was the one with Carl at the end of act one, where I get drunk on champagne (and on the last night it really was champagne!) We had great fun doing the Bolero and for me it was the highlight of the show!

    On Friday night, some of the cast and nearly the whole of the technical crew joined together after the show for a Chinese! The night is always a good laugh and never fails to bring everyone that little bit closer and make Saturday’s performance more enthusiastic than ever before.

    Ay Carumba dancers

    Although the Saturday Matinee didn’t sell out like every other night, we gave it everything, but there was still enough left to make Saturday night the biggest and best performance we could have given.

    The hall was packed, everyone backstage was full of life, and I think it showed in our performance! It really was a night - a week to remember!

    If I start thanking individuals I’ll only forget someone, but I must say the band were great and if we were without any one of the people involved this production wouldn’t have been such a success.

    Thank you for all your comments on my diary and for all the support and lets hope that the next Colin Smith production of Godspell at Easter proves to be as much of a hit as the show, which has been one of my greatest achievements. But now I must say goodbye to Lola and goodbye to the Copacabana.

    your comments

    Sylvia Richard, Dunstable Thursday 28
    November, 2002
    I followed Elly's diary with interest. All the hard work, trials and tribulations really paid off.A very slick production. Take a bow.

    David Andrews, Hitchin Thursday 28 November, 2002

    It's been great reading your diary and it looks like you had a brilliant first night. Where can I find a review of the show or some more pictures? Looking forward to seeing the show on Friday night. Review is here>>

    Susan Philips, Houghton Regis Thursday 28 November, 2002
    Just got in from work and can't wait to come and see the show tonight. Sounds like you had a brilliant first night. Make tonight even better. A great diary from elly!

    Philip Street, Dunstable Wednesday 27 November, 2002
    Came and saw the Thursday night show. The messages on this website are not all hype, this is truly an amazing performance, every single person who took part should feel so proud, I have to mention the band, what a sound, the drums the trumpets the saxaphones, just great. Elly, it's been great to read your diaries and you had nothing to worry about, you are a true star. Thanks to all the Colin Smith LYMT for a great night.

    barrie not manilow, luton Wednesady 27 November, 2002
    Great show, cant wait for Godspell already.

    Julie Webster, Luton Wednesady 27
    November, 2002
    Brilliant brilliant show. Loved every minute last night you were all fantastic - especially Elly. Desperate to see it again but understand tickets only available for Saturday matinee. Has anybody got spares for Thurs,Fri,Sat evening.

    Barrie D, Luton Wednesday 27
    November, 2002
    Fantastic first night guys. We have been talking about it ever since. Think its even better than West Side Story. Have already booked tickets for Saturday Matinee. Cant wait to see it again. Congratulations.

    Bruce Schofield, Luton Wednesday 27
    November, 2002
    Just to say I was absolutly bowled over with Copacabana last night. My only complaint is I cant get tickets to see it again as Thursday Friday and Saturday are all booked up. Understand there is a few left tonight and for the Saturday matinee. I am telling everybody out there if you have not seen the show already phone the box office now and dont miss out on seeing this brilliant show.

    Holmes Estate Agents, Luton Wednesday 27
    November, 2002
    We are the box office for Copacabana. Just to confirm we have tickets available for the Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. However after last nights terrific performance they are selling like hot cakes. So phone us now and book your tickets for the hottest show in town. 01582 405406

    Peggy Roberts, Dunstable Wednesday 27
    November, 2002
    What a brilliant show. I have been following with interest Ellys diary and have to say that all your hard work bore fantasic fruition at last nights performance. I thought it was absolutley amazing. Don't know why you were worried Elly. Cant wait for Godspell. Enjoy the rest of your week. You deserve it.

    Lucy Fisher, Luton Wednesday 27
    November, 2002
    Oh my god! Saw Copa's first night! What a show. The music was brilliant. But the star for me... Her name was Lola, she was... amazing.

    Jane, Barton Le Clay Wednesday 27
    November, 2002
    WOW! - we watched the opening night and were amazed by how much talent and energy these young people have. A wonderful evenings entertainment - we were singing all the way home!

    Rico, Luton Tuesday 26
    November, 2002
    All the Copacabana cast are fantastic performers so I wish you all the very best of luck tonight!!!!!

    Ex Copa Girl Tuesday 26
    November, 2002

    Hot Cope Girl Monday 25
    November, 2002
    Dale Stacey, stop sending yourself messages!

    the boy playin carlos, luton Mon 25 November, 2002
    good luck guys hope we enjoy it

    Dales's Adoring Fan!, Luton Mon 25 November, 2002
    Best of luck to all the cast of Copacabana for next week! I have seen every single show performed by the CSLYMT and have never failed to be impressed! I am especially looking forward to seeing the fantastically talented Dale Stacey playing Tony - he swept me off my feet with his very first performance with CSLYMT as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls and it is great to see him back where he belongs - in a leading role. Again, best wishes, can't wait to see the show!

    Copa Girl, Luton November, 2002
    Hey everyone! Just like to say good luck to everyone in the show-itz goin fab!! all the effort we're puttin in is really showing through. Lets make it a good one! All the best for next week x cant wait!! xxxx (",)

    Barry, New York Friday 22
    November, 2002
    Hey kids great to hear your're enjoying my show, its all about style and energy! Sorry I can't make it as I am playing at Radio City this week. All the best for the show. Regards B.M.
    (Not THE Barry we suspect!!)

    Tara and Lucy Friday 22
    November, 2002
    Big it up for the tities and the willies dance. You are all fab and will make everyone proud, you have worked hard and so have the team around you ! Goog Luck peeps x

    Sophie Raworth, London Thursday 21
    November, 2002
    I've only just found out about Copa in luton. The producer, Stuart, played a very cute Joseph, many years ago at the Library Theatre. Have a great week in Copacabana.

    Darren Adams, Hitchin Thursday 21
    November, 2002
    Good luck to everyone in the show, I have enjoyed reading elly's diary and seeing all the photos in the local papaer! Make this even better then West Side Story!

    Britney, Luton Wednesday 20
    November, 2002
    I have to say that I am so impressed with the work put on by these youngsters. I wish I could be a part of it, I feel proud just watching them. Many congratulations on West Side Story. I would recommend CSLYMT to everyone.

    Ex-Copa Girl Wednesday 20
    November, 2002
    Nice one girlies, I'd like to emphasize that one! We always knit together during show-week to put on an amazing performance, and have a brilliant laugh while we're at it, and I'm sure next week will be no different! Good Luck to ALL the cast, am looking forward to it. And remember SMILE!!

    The Copa Girls Tuesday 19
    November, 2002
    Good Luck to ALL OF THE COPACABANA CAST - we know everyone will pull it together like we always do. Now's the time to work as a team and look forward to another fantastic show!!! xxx

    Simon Williams, Luton Friday 15
    November, 2002
    The Colin Smith lot are brilliant. Have seen them put on some great shows, West Side Story back in March was amazing. Good Luck for another great show.

    Jackie Walker, Luton Thursday 14
    November, 2002
    Came to see the concert on Sunday and have to say the 'Copacabana' section was fantastic. I ordered my tickets there and then and can only say that everyone who reads this should do likewise! Good luck guys!

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