Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Saltzberg Summer - Will Miss Strallen keep the hills alive?

I don't need to tell you about 'The Sound Of Music'. It is one of those things that gets an immediate reaction from the majority of people around the world; nor do I need to tell you that TV was used to find a new Maria. What I do need to say is that Lord Lloyd Webber has used this form of entertainment again to seek a replacement for Connie Fisher, now that her run as Maria Von Trapp has come to an end, who was the original winner of the BBC's 'How Do You Solve A Problem?'. The difference here is that his quest was woven into the format of 'Hollyoaks' as a storyline, involving the character Summer Shaw.

The young lady in question, Summer Strallen does hail from a showbusiness pedigree. Her aunt, as you can probably tell from parts of Miss Strallen's facial structure, is none other than Bonnie Langford. Her older sister, Scarlett, is also a theatrical performer.

This way of seeking people for specific roles in celebrated musicals allows television audiences to participate in the selection process, similar to 'Pop Idol' and 'The X-Factor'. The definite upside of this method is that the losers receive visual exposure that they need to find work in other stage productions, be they musicals or straight forward plays. Connie Fisher was a genuine uknown and had genuine talent, which silenced crtitics who believed that the selection process wasn't a fair one, and led me to believe that she was right person to come out on top, even though I was still convinced the only other contender remaining, at that point, was the right choice for the role. I've yet to hear Summer Strallen sing, so I will defer any sort of opinion until I get the chance to hear her open her mouth to sing the most famous opening line of a song in the history of Broadway and the West End.

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