The St James Theatre played host to the press night of this highly anticipated revival of the classic Jerry Herman show. A musical review featuring some of Broadway’s most famous show tunes, from hugely famous musicals including Hello Dolly!, Mame, Mack and Mabel and La Cage Aux Folles.
Created by Herman and Larry Alford in 1981, Jerry’s Girls originated in a nightclub in Manhattan with a full scale version opening two years later to rave reviews. The new London production opened yesterday so I was to watch only it’s second performance, well when I say performance it’s actually more like a musical theatre party. The relaxed Cabaret seating and intimate atmosphere of this venue made the audience feel part of this wonderful celebration of all things Broadway.
The all female cast consisting of Anna-Jane Casey, Ria Jones and Sarah-Louise Young superbly eased the audience through song after song with some fabulous comedy moments, which at some points were so funny, I would have fallen from my chair had it not been for proximity of the other members of this very appreciative audience.
The three women all showed their amazing versatility, with heart wrenching renditions of songs such as ‘I won’t send Roses’ and ‘Time heals everything’ from Mack and Mable, and my personal musical highlight of the evening ‘If he walked into my life’ from Mame.
Jones can have an audience in stitches with one look and joined by the suave Casey and the delightful Young, make a formidable trio with whom the evening seemed to pass with gay abandon.
The show gave an interesting insight into Herman’s music and the importance of the Women in his life. Archived recordings of interviews were interspersed with the music adding yet more depth and charm to the piece.
Musical accompaniment came in the form of MD Edward Court and woodwind expert Sophie Byrne, who both showed they were not strangers to the stage with some excellent interactions and interjections.
The powerful singing and engaging staging were truly superb, and with so many memorable show tunes I have to admit to being in musical theatre geek heaven.
I suggest using your best tricks to blag a ticket to this wonderful show, before it finishes its very short two week run. It is really not to be missed.
Reviewed by Nicky Sweetland
Photo: Darren Bell
Jerry’s Girls is playing at the St James Studio until 15 March 2015. Click here for more information and to book tickets.