Do you remember the original 1935 film version with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers? It’s a hard act to follow but Alan Burkitt as Jerry Travers and Charlotte Gooch as Dale Tremont certainly make a fine job of it. Burkitt has just the right amount of swaggering confidence and charm as well as, of course, being an excellent singer and dancer. Gooch looks absolutely stunning in her fabulous, floaty satin and ostrich feather costumes and the partnership between the two is perfect. One of the big advantages of the stage show over the film is that it is in glorious technicolor rather than black and white and the set and costume designers haven’t stinted in this department. The art deco splendour of the Belgravia Hotel, the colourful characters of the Lido in Venice and the spectacular routines from the Broadway stage are all lovingly recreated.
Of course, the storyline and comedy is a bit dated now – there are some dodgy non pc views on love and marriage and the poor Italians, as always, suffer from the worst stereotyping and caricature. Having said that, it is all played for laughs and no one should be taking it too seriously so just relax and take yourself back in time to a totally different era. The music and the dancing are the thing and you’ll be humming those tunes and tapping your toes for days and weeks to come.
I saw a previous version of this show a few years ago at the Playhouse starring Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers. If you are a Hollywood musical fan like me it is a show worth seeing more than once and if you haven’t seen it before then you are in for a treat.