This delightful, delicious Cole Porter musical from 1934 is as buoyant as helium, and introduces London audiences to the slinky, hot-shoe oomph of Sutton Foster.
The actress won her second Tony award playing nightclub singer Reno Sweeney on Broadway and stepped in when Megan ‘Will and Grace’ Mullally withdrew from the part here.
Her irresistible performance, alongside rock-solid turns from Robert Lindsay, Felicity Kendal and Gary Wilmot, some bright young romantic leads and a very tight ensemble, ensures a terrific show.
A breathtaking, tap-dancing rendition of the title song, bringing act one to a close, also brought a packed Barbican to its feet.
The plot centres on junior broker Billy Crocker’s attempt to pry debutante Hope from her aristocratic fiancé, on a cruise ship from London to New York.
There are shenanigans involving her mother (Kendal), Billy’s plutocrat boss (Wilmot) and a gangster (Lindsay), with Reno as the grease between all the wheels.
The show brims with the naughtiness and snappy wit of a world struggling back from the Depression and Prohibition.
And it’s packed with transporting, insouciantly clever Porter classics: I Get a Kick Out of You; You’re the Top; It’s De-Lovely.
(Review from The Evening Standard, 5 Aug 2021)
OTHER RAVE REVIEWS
★★★★★ The Telegraph
‘the show of the year’
“A fizzing tonic for our times.”