There is a lot of colour and verve in this 2016 stage adaptation of the 1942 movie. Director Jude Hines has effectively captured the lightness and innocence of the piece and Thomas Phillips’ slick choreography really brought the big production numbers to life.
Critical to the true feeling of this musical was the work of MDs Joanna Patrick and Mark DeLaine and the warmth and style the orchestra provided. From the beginning of the overture we knew we were in safe, exceptionally competent musical hands.
It was good to see and hear Brady Lloyd back on the Adelaide stage, singing in a lead role. He played Jim with his accustomed polish, sincerity and openness. As Ted, his competitor in two love affairs, Lindsay Prodea was very effective. He sang and danced strongly and had an appealingly sassy show-biz edge to his character.
Lauren Scarfe was credible and empathetic as Linda the talented but modest teacher and inheritor of the farm which the transformed into the holiday inn itself. Nikki Gaertner Eaton was convincing as the confident and strident Lila, Ted’s ambitious dance partner.
Emotionally and physically holding things together was the wonderful Kate Anolak as Louise, the ‘handyman’. With some of the best lines, and a crucial role in seeing true love rewarded, Louise must be well-played, and she was.
The costumes and hairstyles truly evoked the 1940s and provided a delightful visual backdrop to the action. This was a worthy performance of a frothy musical that genuinely evokes its intended era.