A spattering of pink has exploded inside this little black box venue, for director Tim McArthur's musical tribute to award-winning lyricist Dorothy Fields. This revue show is set in the aptly named 'Dottie's hairdressers', whose staff and customers provide a loose narrative for hits such as 'I'm in the Mood for Love' and 'The Way You Look Tonight'.
They run the gamut of Field's favoured subjects: relationships; weathering the storms that life rains down upon us and, above all, a kind of wide-eyed hope and optimism exemplified by the show's title.
The stripped-back performances are accompanied by musical director Sarah Travis on the piano. This works for the solos, but not for the bigger show tunes, which noticeably lack the dash and swell of a swing band. Performances are commendable: stand-outs are Rosemary Ashe and the spirited Shona White. Yet this back-to-basics revue, with its lacklustre nods to choreography, is one for Fields enthusiasts only.
A full-length version of this review appears on whatsonstage.com
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Ok, I suppose, but what is with making (or trying to make) a new story out of songs that have already been used in theatrical productions? And what's more, doing so in a way that wastes the talents of the Olivier and Tony award winning company members...Bit off....