CAN I call an embargo on actors leaping around with a saxophone in their hands? I’m just not crazy about it. This is a reworked version of Girl Crazy, a thirties Gershwin Musical, with some more classic Gershwin numbers snuck in because…Gershwin. The music is sublime and, in spite of all the enforced jiving around the actor musicians do, is of a very high standard, with some wonderful, quirky playing and clever use of the musical talents of the company.

The story is about two theatres – one in New York and another in Dead Rock, Nevada. Our poor little rich boy is forced to leave the first to collect debts from the second on behalf of his mother and in doing so shakes off his glamour-puss gal (played by Caroline Flack) and falls in love with a sweet lil’ roughty-toughty, Polly (Charlotte Wakefield).

The libretto is very sparse, especially in the first act, which has so little dialogue in between the numbers that the story froths about on the surface. The character of our hero, Bobby Child, played by Tom Chambers, struggles to be credible in the first half, beyond seeming, well, stupid. A stupid gorgeous dancer, with a lightness of foot made from marabou feathers. By the end of the piece though, we’ve fallen in love with a goofy clown who has dashes of Astaire and Gene Kelly.

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Charlotte Wakefield is a perfectly-voiced Polly, if a little heavy-footed in the finale, which has proper old-fashioned magic.

Technically this is very sassy and I loved the snappy lights and assured changes from New York to Dead Rock. For me, the script itself doesn’t do justice to the beautiful music it contains and what I really craved – a triple shot of nostalgia - was not consistently delivered.

Sarah Scott