REVIEW: ON THE TOWN (Regents Park Open Air Theatre) ★★★
On The Town is a classic musical based on a concept by Jerome Robbins with music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolf Green.
Three sailors with 24 hours shore leave hit New York determined to each meet a girl and have a good time. Straight away on the subway, Gabey (Danny Mac) sees a picture of the current ‘Miss Turnstiles’, Ivy (Siena Kelly) and is determined to find her and take her on a date.
All of the leads were very watchable and Jacob Maynard has done a great job stepping up from understudy to lead (after Fred Haig fractured his foot last week), his ‘Chip’ is innocently adorable. Lizzy Connolly’s comedic timing as cab driver ‘Hildy’ was absolutely fizzing. Danny Mac as ‘Gabey’ danced beautifully as sang the same.
The star of the show for me was the wonderful set, designed by Peter McKintosh. Seemingly just a collection of shipping containers – a myriad of different places and spaces would (as if by magic) suddenly appear: a subway from stage left, a full living room set from upstage, one minute we’re in the Natural History Museum, the next Coney Island – it all worked wonderfully.
At points the choreography and movement could have been tighter, that said there was a wonderful and touching moment mid show in which a sailor instead of running after one of the many ladies of New York, sought male company for his shore leave. This was really beautifully done, sensual and honest.
‘On The Town’ has all the ingredients to be a hit, but despite its best efforts just misses ever so slightly. It is however, an enjoyable evenings entertainment and seeing any show in the glorious surrounds of Regents Park is an event in itself.
Reviewed by Byron Butler
Photo: Jane Hobson
On The Town plays at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre until 1 July 2017. Tickets