REVIEW: PETE ‘N’ KEELEY (Tristan Bates Theatre) ★★★★★

Pete N Keeley

Pete ‘n’ Keely: A Musical By James Hindman and Mark Waldrop was first published early in 2002 and the first performance occurred, off Broadway, in December 2002. The show was an immediate hit with both the public and the critics. “The brightest, happiest and most entertaining show in town” according to Rex Reed of the New York Observer. This however, is the European opening.

It is 1968 and the Pete Bartel and Keely Steven’s show, Pete ‘n’ Keely, is about to be reprised. Before they split up and went solo, they were America’s Sweethearts, now they are making a live return, on prime time television. Everything is so exciting. They come on and burst into song, it is like the intervening years had never happened, however Pete and Keely have not spoken in the intervening years. Not since their bitter divorce .

Pete is super smooth and Keely is every inch Miss Showbiz.They break into an opening number entitled It’s Us Again and the show begins. It is like time has stood still for the last five years, the old magic is still there except, not really.

The cast comprised the two stars and a backing ensemble of three fine musicians. Pete, the oh so smooth crooner, was played by David Bardlsey a fine actor and singer. He has appeared in almost every West End production worthy of his talents and additionally he has appeared in many television programs including Holby City, Doctors and Corrie.

Katie Kerr exquisitely plays Keely. Katie has a wonderful voice and is a tremendous actor. She has appeared on stage in many productions including West End productions of Wicked, Sweeney Todd and Sunset Boulevard and on television and in films.

The Tristan Bates Theatre seats sixty in comfort, it feels very intimate. Do try to catch the show before it’s final performance on the 20th May, it is brilliant.

Reviewed by Graham Archer
Photo: The Other Richard