Me and My Girl

Hearts and heritage collide in this triumphant musical revival

Presented by the Shaw Festival
Directed by Ashlie Corcoran
Book and lyrics by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber
Book revised by Stephen Fry
Music by Noel Gay

Kristi Frank as Sally Smith and Michael Therriault as Bill Snibson with the cast of Me and My Girl. Photo by David Cooper.

The Shaw Festival's new production of the hit 1930s musical Me and My Girl opened to rapturous applause on Saturday night as audience members lept to their feet at curtain call singing along to "The Lambeth Walk." Directed by Ashlie Corcoran, this lively revival is the perfect antidote for fake news blues and political woes, as today's theatregoers seek relief from the negative newscycle, just as they did in post-war times.

Me and My Girl has a storied production history. It premiered at The Victoria Palace in London in December 1937, ran for five years and was literally bombed out of two theatres. It was seen three times by King George VI, and was filmed in 1939 as The Lambeth Walk. The 1985 revival featuring a new book by Stephen Fry and additional songs by Noel Gay ran for eight years at the Leicester Haymarket Theatre and more than three years on Broadway, winning two Olivier Awards and three Tonys. A touring production that starred Tim Curry played Toronto's O'Keefe Centre in 1988.

Now playing at the Shaw Festival Theatre, Me and My Girl remains a crowd-pleaser with luxurious sets, magnificent costumes and classic English charm. The story follows Bill Snibson (Michael Therriault), a proud Cockney from Lambeth (a London neighbourhood south of the river) who is amazed to learn that he’s actually the fourteenth Earl of Hareford. But if he wants to claim his title, he will need to learn how to walk and talk like the nobility, and if Maria, the matriarch of the manor (Sharry Flett) has her way, he'll need to part ways with his old love, Sally (Kristi Frank).

Over the course of the musical Maria attempts to educate Bill on how to be a gentleman, meanwhile, the scheming Lady Jacqueline (Elodie Gillett) sets her eyes on his new-found wealth and attempts to seduce him, much to the dismay of her blue-blooded admirer Gerald (Kyle Blair). Bill, however, proves difficult to change. His love for Sally is strong and his Cockney nature is stubbornly persistent. Even the Hareford staff can't get over his lack of decorum. Lucky for Bill, the chummy Sir John Tremayne (Ric Reid) is in his corner, but will his loyalty be enough to keep the new Earl and his love together?

Corcoran's production is smooth and well-paced featuring toe-tapping choreography by Parker Esse and terrific performances by the talented ensemble. Therriault oozes charisma as Bill Snibson, nailing the show's slapstick scenes and channelling golden-age leading men in romantic numbers such as "Leaning on a Lamp Post." Frank's Sally is a wonderful counterpart, equally captivating and amusing to watch. The pair make a dynamic duo, especially as they kick off the production's most celebrated number, "The Lambeth Walk" at the end of the first act. Other musical highlights include the second act's opening song "The Sun has got his Hat on," featuring the entire cast in beautifully coordinated tennis and croquet attire.

Don't miss this impeccable throwback musical with a memorable score that will get stuck in your head for days. Catch Me and My Girl until October 15, 2017 at the Shaw Festival Theatre. Visit shawfest.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Sat, 2017-05-27 - Sun, 2017-10-15
Our rating:

Gallery

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.