I’M GETTING MY ACT TOGETHER AND TAKING IT ON THE ROAD
by Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford
Jermyn Street Theatre to 23 July
16b Jermyn Street, London SW1 6ST to 23 July 2016.
Tues-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat & Sun 3.30pm.
Runs 90 mins No interval/
TICKETS: 020 7287 2875.
Review: William Russell 9 July.
A dazzling and tuneful battle of the sexes.
Last seen here 35 years ago with Diane Langton in the lead this splendid revival of the Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford play with music shows that it has simply got better with the passage of time.
I cannot find out what happened in London, but when it opened in America in 1978 critics were cool, but the public loved it and there have been more revivals there. On the evidence of this production directed by Matthew Gould one can see why it has been revived.
It is a terrific show. Landi Oshinowo plays Heather, a television star and singer going back on the road with a new programme of feminist songs, all of which upset Joe, her male to his bootstraps manager, played by Nicolas Colicos.
The songs are just, in his view, plain wrong. The ensuing battle of the sexes is funny and given that since the show opened strong women singing songs about men have proliferated it is even more topical now. It hits all the targets as the chauvinist Joe is bamboozled at every turn. Heather, for instance is celebrating her 39th birthday which, of course, is taboo as far as he is concerned.
Women stars cannot be as old as that in his eyes, whereas men just mature – like him. And so it goes. The songs are all good, even the sentimental one Joe likes from Heather’s old repertoire which she has tired of singing and the band under Nick Barstow play them beautifully.
Just why we have had to wait so long for this revival is one of those things. Oshinowo is pure delight, pretty and knowing, she radiates sly, catlike charm, handles the songs superbly and fights the women’s corner with relish. Heather knows what songs she wants to perform and she is darned well going to perform them – over Joe’s dead body if necessary. Meanwhile Joe suffers defeat after defeat, not least after his unfaithful wife telephones to say she is committing suicide and will he please come home. He goes. She needs a man after all. Colicos squirms and brays hilariously as the sort of macho male who will never understand women but thinks he does, there is fine support from the rest of the cast, and at the heart of it all is the superb Oshinowo.
Joe: Nicolas Colicos.
Heather Jones: Landi Oshinowo.
Alice: Rosanna Hyland.
Cheryl: Kristen Gaetz.
Scottie/Bassist: Alice Offley.
Jake: David Gibbons.
Drums & Percussionist: Rich Craig.
Director: Matthew Gould.
Musical Director: Nick Barstow.
Set & Costume Supervisor: Edward Iliffe.
Lighting Designer: Mitchell Reeve.
Sound Designer: Philip Matejtschuk.