book by Lawrence Kasha and David S Landay lyrics by Johnny Mercer music by Gene Paul new songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn.

Tour to 10 May 2014.
Runs 2hr 15min One interval.
Review: William Russell 10 October.

Heavenly Hoofing on the Oregon Trail.
This reworked version of the famous MGM film directed by Stanley Donen, is splendidly danced by the brothers, the potential wives and their suitors, but the added songs are no great shakes, the set is hideous and, while it passes the time well enough, the show provides no good reason for not going out and buying the DVD of the original movie.

But a live show is a live show, the costumes are very pretty and the happy hoe-down choreography created by Patti Colombo, who also directs, is inventive and involves lots of athletic feats by the assorted brothers.

They may not be the prettiest seven, but they are extremely agile and keep taking their shirts off –all boast impressive six packs – to the delight of the largely female audience.

As Adam, the Oregon farmer who abducts brides for his brothers after acquiring one of his own, and reading in a book she owns about the rape of the Sabine Women, Sam Attwater has presence – he even dances a few steps – but his perfectly pleasant voice lacks the necessary weight for rousing numbers like ‘Bless Your Beautiful Hide’ or ‘Sobbin’ Women’.

However, Helena Blackman as Milly sings charmingly, and makes a nicely feisty wife who puts the menfolk she is landed with in order, while Jack Greaves as Gideon, the youngest brother, is spritely and full of vigour.

For some reason Colombo has dropped ‘Spring, Spring, Spring’, one of the better de Paul numbers, replacing it with some ballet-style hoofing to his ‘Wonderful Wonderful Day’, a rather tedious tune at the best of times. Were the new songs any good that would not matter, but to lose a good number is a pity.

The rewriting of the plot in act two is also extremely clumsy, there is no barn raising dance number although the substitutes are fine, but the ‘Lonesome Polecat’ number with the lovelorn brothers waving axes around oddly goes for nothing. What matters, however, is the dancing and about that there can be no reservations. It is hoofing of a high order.

Adam: Sam Attwater.
Milly: Helena Blackman.
Benjamin: Ross Meagrow.
Caleb: Joe Murphy.
Daniel: Jack Evans.
Ephraim: Pip Hersee.
Frank: Sam Stones.
Gideon: Jack Greaves.
Ruth: Marianne Phillips.
Dorcus: Carrie Willis.
Alice: Georgina Parkinson.
Martha: Lindsay McAllister.
Sarah: Elisha Rose Sherman.
Liza: Zoe Nicole Adkin.
Nathan: Luke Robson.
Matt: Kiel Payton.
Luke: Matt Kennedy.
Zeke: James Revelle.
Joel: Nathan Colman.
Jeb: Morgan Jackson.
Mr Sanders: Matthew Atkins.
Mrs Bixby: Stephanie McConville.
Mr Halloum: Alex Hammond.
Mrs Halloum: Nikkola Burnhope.
Preacher: Michael Chance.
Swings: David Barrett, Leanne Groutage, Andrew Rothwell.

Director/Choreographer: Patti Colombo.
Designer: Anna Louizos.
Lighting: Nick Richings.
Sound: Jezz Helens.
Orchestrations: David Barber.
Musical Supervisor: Martin Hughes.
Musical Director: Bruce Knight.
Choreographer/Associate director: Karl Warden.
Costume: Elizabeth Dennis.
Fight director: Andy Rothwell.

21-26 Oct Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Thu & Sat 2.30pm Opera House Manchester 0844 871 4018
28 Oct–2 Nov Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Thu & Sat 2.3-pm Waterside Theatre Aylesbury 0844 871 7607
18–23 Nov Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm Sunderland Empire 0844 871 7627 www.atgtickets/com/venues/sunderland-empire
25–30 Nov Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm King’s Theatre Glasgow 0844 871 7648
14–18 Jan 7.30pm Mat Wed, Thu & Sat Bristol Hippodrome 0844 871 3012 www.atgtickets/venues/bristol-hippodrome
3–8 Feb Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham 0121 230 9082
24 Feb–1 March Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm Liverpool Empire 0844 871 3017
10-15 March Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed, Sat 2.30pm New Theatre Oxford 0844 871 3020
7–12 April 7.30pm Mat Thu & Sat 2.30pm Theatre Royal Brighton
21–26 April Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm New Victoria Theatre Woking 0844 871 7645
28 April–3 May Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm Richmond Theatre 0844 871 7651
5–10 May Mon 7.45pm Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm Regent Theatre Stoke-on-Trent 0844 871 7649

2013-10-11 02:31:11

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