It may have been dismal, cold and wet outside, but the Lyceum Theatre audience was soon dried, warmed up and given a hot toddy of feelgood frontierland nostalgia - not to mention a side order of chewin’ baccy - in this fabulous production.
If you haven’t seen the 1954 film, the story tells of seven brothers and their unorthodox attempts to each secure a bride in women-scarce Oregon in 1850.
While I love drama and music, I usually thumb through the programme or gaze up at the ornate ceiling whenever there’s dancing. But it was Patti Colombo and Karl Warden’s breathtaking choreography that won it for me this time.
The Social Dance has to be the standout section of the show - so much so the cast received a thoroughly deserved long ovation for their display of somersaults, tumbling, ballet and sheer genius on what was a limited space to perform.
The show’s great musical numbers were well executed, especially by How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? runner-up Helena Blackman as female lead Milly. Understudy Andy Rothwell filled in admirably for Sam Attwater with a credible performance as Adam, though I have to say that, perhaps as he was singing in a key arranged for someone else, he struggled to be heard with some of the low notes.
A few extra songs have been added to the classic score - possibly to try to bring the show up to date - and while I really liked them and the exquisitely sweet harmonies, they were more of the Les Mis/Miss Saigon ilk, and will undoubtedly have raised a few eyebrows among purists.
This was a thigh-slappin’, rootin’-tootin’ great night out - and one well worth mosey’n on down to.