Dolly's super show is big, brassy and full of fun
IN the days when the big studios ruled Hollywood it was said that you could identify who had made any musical by its style of presentation. Twentieth Century Fox were noted for making big brassy fun-filled rather garish Technicolor musicals, and this slick wonderfully staged fast moving production could have come straight from that studio.
From the moment Dolly Parton, who wrote the music and lyrics, appears on the video screen to introduce the story, to her final appearance joining in the singing of the title song, the show, directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun, zips along at a breathtaking pace.
Every scene was changed on the run as part of the numbers being performed.
Vocals were belted out with such tremendous energy that you longed for a a moment of gentler presentation, but we had to wait almost to the end before Mark Willshire's understanding Joe joined Jackie Clune, outstanding in the role of Violet the single mother striving for equal rights for the women in this male dominated firm, in the romantic Let Love Grow.
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Amy Lennox, in the Dolly Parton role of Doralee, Natalie Casey as the diffident newcomer Judy, and Mark Moraghan's Franklyn J Hart reminding us, in no uncertain manner just how chauvinist big business was in the Eighties. All had to be in top form, and were, to match Jackie Clune's vibrant performance. Add Bonnie Langford's cringingly besotted secretary to the obnoxious egotist Mr Hart, and you have a line up of top class principals. Her love sick hymn to him Heart to Hart was a real show stopper.
Full of sharp biting 'one liners' expertly delivered this is a show that hits you right between the eyes, like it or not, without a word of apology.