Reviews: Me and My Girl – Shaw Festival
★ ★ ★ /4 Toronto Star – Carly Maga
“Helming her first large-scale production at the Shaw Festival, [Ashlie] Corcoran turns a West End hit from the 1930s (and again in the 1980s due to a book update from Stephen Fry) but little-known today, “Me and My Girl,” by L. Arthur Rose, Douglas Furber and music by Noel Gay, into a high-energy crowd-pleasing romp….Parker Esse’s choreography captures an old school elegance and exuberance, a romanticism that the film “La La Land” rode to the Oscars this year.
In “Thinking of No One But Me,” Élodie Gillett’s Jacquie Carstone floats across the stage, held aloft by ensemble dancers David Ball, Travis Seetoo and Jonah McIntosh.
Toronto Star link
★ ★ ★ .5 /5 Niagara Falls Review – John Law
“In one of his biggest casting coups of the season, Carroll lured former Stratford great Michael Therriault to Shaw for the first time, playing an uncouth cockney named Bill who learns he’s heir to the Earl of Hareford.
From the second he hits the stage – greeted by some ‘What took so long?’ applause opening night Saturday – Therriault is a comic whirlwind, dropping cheesy zingers as he glides from one amusing set piece to the next.”
…he gets stellar support from Kristi Frank as Bill’s streetsmart lass Sally Smith, worried her man is getting too refined for her (“Do you know where the Magna Carta was signed?” “Ya, at the bottom”) and Elodie Gillett as the gold digging Lady Jacqueline, whose attempts at seduction reach peak hilarity in “You Would If You Could.”
Niagara Falls Review link
Broadway World – Michael Rabice
“Triple threat can best describe Kyle Blair as Gerald, the nephew and would be suitor to Lady Jacqueline. Blair’s comedic timing, as well as his clarion tenor and agile dancing, made him a joy to watch. Shaw veteran Sharry Flett was marvelous as the family leader, the Duchess of Dene.”
Broadway World link
Capital Critics Circle – Jamie Portman
This a show that reaffirms the excellence of the Shaw ensemble and the care that a good production like this one will show for even the smallest supporting role — witness, for example, Neil Barclay’s impeccable work as the butler.
But one must also celebrate the solid contributions of Jay Turvey, a droll delight as a starchy family lawyer; Elodie Gillett as an aristocratic vamp whose song — Thinking Of No One But Me — illustrates the extent of her designs on the newly wealthy Bill; Kyle Blair, very funny as a feckless young aristo horrified at the thought of having to work for a living; and Ric Reid, an crusty knight of the realm who proves to have a heart of gold.
And finally there’s Sharry Flett, consistently entertaining as the imperious duchess. Long a mainstay of the Shaw company, Flett has rarely been given the opportunity to remind us of her prowess in musical theatre
Capital Critics Circle link
★ ★ ★ /4 Globe and Mail – J. Kelly Nestruck
Lacking any clear meaning or coherent message, Me and My Girl seems to have been embraced for its sheer absurdity by the creative team at the Shaw Festival. The pointlessness of a patter song about a family solicitor (an enjoyably creepy Jay Turvey) is fully acknowledged and becomes a running gag….
The oh-so-obviously interpolated tune that opens the second act, The Sun Has Got His Hat On, is the most hilarious – with Kyle Blair, as the honourable something or another, grinning maniacally as he leads a chorus dressed in cricket gear through the ridiculous number. (Blair would be an international superstar if comic light opera were still in vogue.)
Globe and Mail Link
Photos by David Cooper
New reviews to be added as they become available.
More information about “Me and My Girl” at the Shaw Festival.