Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
2017-01-14 • 19:15
Everything she touches turns to gold. Once more, Anna-Jane Casey gives a shining, extraordinarily versatile performance in one of musical theatre’s most demanding parts, written for the legendary Ethel Merman. Contrary to Merman, Casey is not only a great singer, she’s also a hell of a dancer and a wonderfully warm and engaging comedian, and this production has wisely been designed to showcase all of her talents.
The leading lady is surrounded by a strong supporting cast and a highly likable ensemble. There are high points aplenty, like the outstanding vocal arrangements of “Moonshine Lullaby” or Alistair David’s wonderful choreography for “I Got the Sun in the Morning”, one of the classiest numbers I’ve seen, literally a moment of grace.
Kudos to Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre for bringing such quality to its stage, under the ever inspired guidance of director Paul Foster, whose partnership with Casey goes back a long way. Too bad the sound design is so aggressive: either people are massively turning deaf, or this is a misguided attempt at masking the average size of the 12-strong band.