One of my highlights of London's theatrical calendar is always the annual musical produced by the Open Air Theatre at Regent's Park. There have been some wonderful offerings in years gone by, including 'The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess,' 'Crazy For You,' 'Into The Woods,' and 'Hello Dolly!', and this year is certainly no exception.
'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers' opened last week to extremely positive reviews - critic Mark Shenton even called it "a rollicking summer's night entertainment!" and I certainly have no quarrel with that. Based on the MGM film from the Golden era of Hollywood movie musicals, this is an all-singing, all-dancing Wild Wild Western not to be missed. From the moment Alex Gaumond enters the theatre as rough-around-the-edges leading man Adam and belts out "Bless Your Beautiful Hide," we are transported to a place and time far far away and I was hooked.
The incredible dance numbers performed by the ensemble are truly something to behold, brilliantly capturing the spirit of that era, and the costumes and set are both practical and beautiful in their own right. The colour co-ordination pairing between the brides and respective brothers also helps the audience keep track of the many characters involved in a simple and effective way.
A special mention also goes to Laura Pitt-Pulford, who takes on the role of Milly and gives a well-balanced performance of just the right amounts of tom-boyishness and feminity.
Once again the Open Air Theatre provides the perfect backdrop for a musical set primarily in a farm in the mountains and a lonely town in the West. Whether it's for a romantic evening out with your loved one or whether it's to introduce your children to the wonderful world of outdoor theatre, 'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers' offers an ideal opportunity to experience a "Wonderful, Wonderful Day," as the song goes.