This slick production proves yet again the UNION can really pull it off when it comes to musical theatre. A talented and engaging cast moved this slight but fun 60's show, about stereotypical 30's musicals, along with real verve. 10/10. - rds
14 Aug 11
brilliant - reich
07 Aug 11
Total, total joy of a show, great work all round, goes like a rocket, your out in two hours, skipping down the street with 'Raining in my Heart' playing in your head.
How lovely to see West End stars of the future, Gemma Sutton, Cartrina Sandison and Daniel Bartlett along side todays 'names' been there done it all - Rosemary Ashe (who is just having a ball).
Another must see show from the Union. - offwestend fan
05 Aug 11
The Union Theatre's pre-eminence as the home of musical theatre continues with this very welcome revival of a preposterous & implausible but delightful & charming 60's American homage / spoof of the golden age of 30's film musicals.
In the first act, we're on the stage of a broadway theatre where final rehearsals are underway for that night's opening of a show starring the legendary Mona Kent. Stage struck Ruby arrives by bus from Utah and gets to replace the chorus girl whisked away by a rich punter. Newly enlisted sailor and songwriting wannabe Dick (from the same town in Utah!) then turns up and gets a song accepted by predatory Mona and falls in love with Ruby. Fellow sailor Lucky arrives looking for Dick (!) and falls in love with fellow chorus girl Joan. The demolition of the theatre means the show can't open but the sailors have a plan - and we've only been going 50 minutes!
In the second half, the show must go on, so it's staged on the navy ship, Mona is seasick so Ruby gets her big break and a star is born. We end with the triple wedding of Dick & Ruby, Lucky & Joan and Mona with the ship's captain, an old flame.....and we've only been going another 50 minutes in real-time and only a day in stage time!
It has an excellent score beautifully sung and played well by just two pianos (MD: Richard Bates) and there are some very funny lines. Kirk Jameson's revival, with excellent choreography from Drew McOnie, is pitch perfect, balancing the tongue-in-cheek parody with romantic charm. They are lucky to have a stunning cast. It's great to see Rosemary Ashe on the fringe and she's every inch the Broadway diva with a booming voice and terrific comic timing. Gemma Sutton and Catriana Sandison are both superb as the girls and Daniel Bartlett and Alan Hunter equally superb as the boys. Ian Mowatt and Anthony Wise provide fine comic cameos as the ship's captain and theatre director respectively. In an outstanding ensemble there's another Strallen, Sasi (exactly how many are there?!) and two impressive professional debuts from recent Arts Ed graduates Matt Gillett and Joshua Tonks.
It's a delightful, charing and funny evening that is unmissable for any lover of musical theatre. - Gareth James
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