Comedy romp has glitz and glamour; REVIEW.
Top Hat BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME THIS musical brings together all the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood, the greatest hits of Irving Berlin and the dance moves of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in dazzling style.
The story follows American tap dance star Jerry Travers (Alan Burkitt) as he arrives in London to appear in his first West End show.
He meets sassy society girl Dale Tremont (Charlotte Gooch), falls head-over-heels in love and follows her across Europe in a bid to win her heart. But the dapper dancer has his work cut out when a case of mistaken identity causes chaos.
The course of true love never did run smooth - and that's certainly true of this tale - but never has it been so amusing with many laugh-out-loud moments in director Matthew White's polished production.
Burkitt has charisma in abundance in the role, bags of charm and perfect comedic timing, not to mention his fancy footwork.
He has a fantastic partner in Gooch, who shone throughout with sensational singing and dancing - as well as looking stunning in that iconic feather dress.
Clive Hayward was hilarious as bumbling producer Horace Hardwick, with his musings on the joys of marriage, while his ball-breaking wife Madge (Rebecca Thornhill) had a different take on the theme, advising Miss Tremont to hurry up and get a "wealthy, pliable husband".
Add to this the dry wit of John Conroy, who played Bates, Horace's valet, and Sebastien Torkia's excitable Italian fashion designer Alberto Beddini, and the audience spent a good deal of the night in stitches.
The big dance numbers are wonderfully choreographed by Bill Deamer, with a sparkling tap dance routine during Top Hat, White Tie and Tails, the closing number in Act 1, being the most memorable.
The stylish Art Deco stage designs by Hildegard Bechtler transports you to a swish hotel in London's Belgravia and then to the Lido in Venice and provides a great 1930s backdrop to the show.
All that's left to say is top hat's off to the entire cast of this classy comedy, a night of good old-fashioned entertainment.
Runs until Saturday, March 21.
HHHHI KERRY ASSINDER
Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch in musical comedy Top Hat, running at the Birmingham Hippodrome |