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Hooray for Hollywood

Paying homage to popular songs and dances from the silver screen in the past 60 years can be done in a little more than two hours.

Just add some rainfall, start with the golden age, throw in two distinct decades and add other franchises such as 007 and Disney, and, for the late Elvis Presley, some white, feathery Vegas grandeur, along with a variety of voices, costumes and choreography.

"Hooray for Hollywood" premiered Tuesday night to an audience of several busloads at the Palace Theatre in Myrtle Beach for its first run, which lasts through May 21.

With all the music from a six-piece live band, an ensemble of 15 pays tribute to memorable numbers from about 30 classic musicals such as "The Wizard of Oz" and "West Side Story." The eras, spread out in medleys, play out on stage as a video screen brings back images from the movies' glory days through posters, movie stills and video clips.

During "Singin' in the Rain," precipitation falls in front of the stage and on the screen. However, unlike what Gene Kelly pulled off in his original routine, no one gets wet - not one drop.

As a scene of Fred Astaire dancing plays from "Blue Skies," the cast turns the stage into Park Avenue with Irving Berlin's "Puttin' on the Ritz" with glitz.

The music during one of the three songs for bandleader Glenn Miller, "In the Mood," comes to a standstill, so one dance can evolve into a skit with fancy foot tapping by a soloist and clapping by the ensemble and audience.

Four golden curtains drop from above during "Goldfinger," the first of three themes - besides "Diamonds Are Forever" and "Moonraker" - that Wales' Shirley Bassey recorded for the music-videolike opening credits in movies starring Special Agent 007. A flashback of movie posters flips through all 22 official James Bond films, from "Dr. No" in 1962 to "Quantum of Solace" in 2008.

Many segues reflect a flow in which movies complement each other. Bob Fosse's legacy in choreography steps out through "Cabaret," and seven women re-create artistic use of chairs, followed by "All That Jazz" and "Mister Cellophane," both from "Chicago."

Bee Gees disco music from the 1970s in "Saturday Night Fever" gives way to "Grease" - the theme for which Barry Gibb wrote and Frankie Valli sang - and poodle skirts and a group skit to "Hand Jive."

"Mamma Mia!" breaks away for some '70s Abba music to which the youngest members in the audience might have been introduced since that film was released in 2008.

After the intermission, everyone on stage sports shades with black suits, hats and ties for two reasons: Jake and Elwood Blues, as portrayed in "The Blue Brothers" in songs to which Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles added their respective signatures: "Think" and "Shake a Tail Feather."

A return to the 1980s covers a series of clean F-words - "Footloose," "Flashdance" and "Fame." Video clips bring back the late Patrick Swayze during "(I've Had) the Time of My Life" from "Dirty Dancing," as the cast reprises the finale, and the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" from "Ghost," in which singers go a cappella for a portion.

The Disney set accounts for multiple generations, boasting numbers such as "Bare Necessities" from "The Jungle Book," the title track to "Beauty and the Beast" and "A Whole New World" from "Aladdin."

Watch a lead singer fly, too, as Julie Andrews did in "Mary Poppins," during a song that probably would take anyone some time to practice spelling its title with all 34 letters, let alone pronouncing it in melody: "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

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