brassy 1956 Broadway musical, written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
as a vehicle for actress Judy Holliday, wasn't the best of its time -
the same year saw My Fair Lady - but its high quality and fun level
testify to how superior even B-list musicals were during that golden
age, and this revival by the tiny but mighty Union Theatre is a welcome
Good Night Out.
score - lyrics
by Comden and Green, music by Jule Styne - features two classics, Just
In Time and The Party's Over, and several comic songs that are
favourites of musical fans, Perfect Relationship, Simple Little System
and Drop That Name - and these days even Andrew Lloyd Webber has
trouble coming up with five great songs in a single show.
plot, as with
most musicals, is openly minimal and contrived - in the days before
answering machines and voicemail, an operator at an answering service
gets personally involved with her clients, offering cold cures, career
advice and just a sympathetic ear.
love with one client just from his voice, and manages to meet him
without letting him know who she is. He falls for her, complications
arise and are overcome, and they live tunefully ever after.
a sweet story,
the characters are attractive, there's lots of comedy along the way,
and of course all those excellent songs.
it depends on its star, and Anna-Jane Casey rises to the moment. She
makes the most of her sprightly musical numbers while still tugging at
your heart in The Party's Over, she dances well, and she's funny. She
may have to work a little too visibly at being twinkly and adorable,
but she gets there, and she's as irresistible as you could want.
role of her
love interest just asks for someone manly who can sing, and Gary Milner
delivers, providing solid support, and it is noteworthy that most of
the cast in this fringe production have solid West End credentials.
Foster and choreographer Alistair David do wonders in the tiny space,
moving people and props about with grace and inventiveness.
would be nice to
think this is a tryout for a possible tour or West End transfer - show,
production, star and potential audiences all deserve more than this
brief fringe run.
Return to Theatreguide.London home page.
- Bells Are Ringing - Union 2010