In the opening minutes, backstage at Zangler's Theatre in New York, Bobby Child (Tom Chambers) literally bursts on stage setting the bar for a high energy production that doesn't fail to deliver.
Overall, a great ensemble piece which takes an inventive and spirited approach to this light-hearted Gershwin musical. Packed with memorable musical numbers, tap dancing and mistaken identity, it traces the fate of a theatre (and beleaguered residents) in Dead Rock Nevada as the bank sends Bobby to foreclose on the mortgage.
As you'd expect from a UK touring production, staging is insightful; great use is made of the set and props to add interest and variety to some of the bigger musical numbers. Innovative choreography gives a new slant to some of the most well-known numbers, particularly I've Got Rhythm and Stiff Upper Lip. The ensemble of multi-talented on-stage musicians, certainly adds to an overwhelming sense of fun and energy.
Chambers manages to maintain irrepressible energy throughout, giving a fine performance punctuated with some superb moments of physical comedy. For me, the duet with Zangler in Act 2 was a particular highlight. While Charlotte Wakefield gives a stand-out performance as Polly Baker with a superb vocal performance and great characterisation.
What it lacks in glamour it makes up for in enthusiasm, commitment and vitality. A delightful production and enjoyable evening that will leave you humming and tapping your way home!