"HER name was Lola, she was a showgirl" – it's an iconic song, but the musical of the same name is certainly lesser known. Which is why it was such a delight to see Highcliffe Charity Players bring the show to the stage at the Regent Centre in Christchurch.

With plenty of those yellow feathers, a fair few ruffled shirts and an absolute riot of colours, Copacabana is a full-on party from start to finish, although the story takes a dark turn half way through.

Capturing the sequins and glamour of the late 1940s, the musical, written by the one and only Barry Manilow, fills in the gaps the song leaves behind, including how Tony and Lola met, exactly who Rico is, and how the whole story ends.

Set in the steamy, sexy and slightly sleazy world of the famous Copacabana nightclub, we follow Lola and Tony on their way to stardom, accompanied by Manilow hits such as Dancin' Fool, Who Needs to Dream, Welcome To Havana, and, of course, the Grammy Award-winning title song.

Shannon Cook may have been playing the young, naive Lola, but she certainly proved she's an accomplished actor, dancer, and a phenomenal singer to boot. James Doherty-Box was suitably dashing and heroic as the enamoured Tony, with another brilliant vocal performance, reminiscent of a certain Mr Buble.

There were great moments of comic relief from Georgina Smith as Gladys and Pete Whitaker as Sam, while Alex Cook made for a suave and sadistic Rico.

As always with the award-winning HCP, the leads were backed up by a talented ensemble, with fabulous costumes and slick choreography. A live orchestra adds a touch of magic although, for me, it did overpower the vocals at times.

Showgirls, sequins and plenty of sass, Copacabana has it all – you'll be dancing in the aisles by the final number.