Between four courses the cast and crew of ‘Flashback’, the latest Wallmans dinner theatre performance, offer up delights and spectacle whose quality is without question. What a night!
What an opening!
For over 130 years Wallmans has been thrilling audiences, and in their opening number they bring some of that past to life asking the audience to indulge in a little ‘Pure Imagination’ with a song medley that sets the stage perfectly for an evening adrift in song and marvels.
What began with a show-stopping rendition of the ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ classic, which featured LED horses shouldered by cast members and fire-swallowing by the renowned Maryanne, ended with an equally remarkable rendition of the original ‘At Wallmans Tonight’ melody, which showcased the astonishing vocal talents of the entire cast.
As the opening number comes to a close, the lights are raised in the large theatre hall and the audience is asked to join the company of Wallmans in a toast to the evening and to the enduring legacy of the building. My companion and I gratefully acquiesced with a flavourful house Chardonnay.
Four hours and eight titillating and impressive performances followed as the artists, ever attentive and charming, flew between stage and tables to mingle and serve the audience our various courses.
A little bit of everything
The second routine of the evening was a Bruno Mars medley that had the Wallmans cast don the swagger, ease, and charisma of the famous Honolulu native. With the vocal talent to back it up, the medley proved to be a fantastic pairing with my soup, a seasonal blend of cream and spice.
After the soup came a starter that consisted of kimchi salad, a spring roll, a cheese truffle and a sword-swallowing act. In between savory bites I found myself holding my breath as Maryanne worked her way through her act accompanied by Wallmans pianist Casper.
Another act passed before the main course, which arrived just as David Hammarberg began his aerial performance. Consisting of an exquisitely baked chévre with beetroot, fried walnuts and fried pasta from Alsace, it came to the table steaming. The chévre melted in my half-open mouth as Hammarberg twirled and spun 20 feet from where I was seated. By then we were opening the Campanile red and it was a welcome change as was the satisfying crunch of the fried pasta.
A celebration of life
After dinner came the Chapel of Love number, in which the audience is invited to join in celebration of the anniversaries, birthdays and special occasions that have brought many guests to the Wallmans theatre. One guest, Micah, was even coerced into accompanying the cast on stage and donned a wedding gown as we toasted again.
Finally dessert, and with it came the Duo Creative number. Modern day strongmen Zbigniew and Michał astonish with their unexpected and intense routine that made me think twice about indulging in the chocolate almonds, delicious banana mousse, and chocolate cupcake that came as our culinary closer.
The last act, a tour de force of ‘80s legends, was complemented by coffee, and at just the right time as the tunes of Run DMC and Paula Abdul had my head bobbing and shoulders grooving.
It was a night to remember, full of sights and delights that are rarely found under the same roof. Here’s to another 130 years!