For those who delight in the song and dance of the Hollywood film musicals, the current tour of That’s Entertainment will be an all-singing, all-dancing delight. The greatest hits of the 1930s, 40s and 50s are brought to exhilarating life in this nostalgic song fest of numbers by such greats as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, performed by a cast of four lead singers and eight dancers. As well as the classic title number, That’s Entertainment includes selections from South Pacific and Carousel, some Judy favourites, songs made famous by the Rat Pack, and even a Cockney knees-up section with the cast dressed as Pearly kings and queens.

A star guest joins the show at each venue on the tour, including Jane McDonald, The Overtones, Elaine C. Smith and Jonathan Ansell. Birmingham’s New Alexandra Theatre struck gold with West End leading lady Ruthie Henshall who adds some real showbiz sparkle to the evening. Henshall recalls some of her earlier successes in the first half, with the sassy ‘All That Jazz’ from Chicago, and the charming life lesson ‘Life is a bowl of cherries’ from Fosse. Henshall shares anecdotes from her career with the audience, including one story of the legendary Mickey Rooney, with whom she starred in a production of Crazy For You. That Gershwin show was Henshall’s breakthrough role – “It was like an MGM musical on stage”. Vocally she is still on top of her game, with her well-considered interpretations of Gershwin classics ‘But Not For Me/Embraceable You’ and ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ sounding as good as they did in those long-ago Crazy For You days. Turning up the heat in the second half, Henshall gives a feisty ‘Some People’ from Gypsy – a role she should surely play in future, despite vowing not to be a showbiz Mum herself – after a dramatic ‘The Man That Got Away’.

The rest of the show is a non-stop song and dance extravaganza, led by singers Sean Smith (a real find with great vocals), Simon Schofield, Emma Kate Nelson and Loula Geater, with eight hard-working dancers. Emma Rogers’ routines for them are not as sharp as last year’s The Songbook of Judy Garland, and it grates that there are no live musicians, particularly as the recorded soundtrack features vocals for some of the company numbers too, as there was distortion between actual sound and recorded sound at times. But this seemed to matter little to a mostly senior crowd at the delightful Alex (as the New Alexandra Theatre is known locally) who revelled in a nostalgic glow at the non-stop numbers and routines. Dazzling costumes, a terrific tap routine and stylishly-performed iconic numbers like ‘The Trolley Song’, ‘Good Morning’, ‘A Couple of Swells’ – and even ‘We’ll Meet Again’ – after all, like the title says, That’s Entertainment.