Reviews for 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' - 29th March to 2nd April 2022
This musical has a barmy plot based on the story of the “Sabine Women”, or, as they sing “Sobbin’ Women”, of seven brothers that come to town and carry off seven pretty girls,.
Act one is a whirlwind of choreography and singing: act 2 is moody and brooding as the brothers long for their seven would-be brides. The finale is a complete Ye–Ha of musical celebration of the brothers’ marriage to the girls. It is musical theatre at its best!
The director created a visual feast. This show requires the triple threat of singing, dancing and acting in equal measure but it is the dancing that is the heart of this musical. The choreography was so inventive, depicting every emotion with leaps and high kicks, but never elegant thus keeping the rough, cowboy image. The fight at the social when the brothers try to woo the girls by “Goin’ Courtin” was skilfully choreographed. To make all this work the music has to flow, and here every crotchet and quaver was punched out. The additional songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirshhorn added to the already iconic score. All this was played out by a fine orchestra.
Set in Oregon in 1850, the scenery consisted of module pieces that could be used for exterior scenes and reversed for interior scenes. All the scene changes glided into place without being noticed: all credit to the stage crew. Lighting and sound enhanced the shows ambiance. Character presentation was of the highest standard. The home-made shirts of the brothers, until Milly gets to work on them, and their shirts colour coordinated with the girls dresses made it easy to see who is who in the brawl at the social.
A cast of forty plus included an ensemble of children who were so well rehearsed. They contributed to the success of the piece. We cannot forget the good work of townsfolk and other characters who were so important to the overall narrative. The highly capable suitors were all individual characters so that the audience believed in them. Tom, Matt, John, Lucas, Christian and Sam were spunky in delivery, a match for the Pontipee brothers. Speaking of which, the six wannabe suitors played by Ben, Andrew, Deni, Ben, Lewis and Matt were all-rounders in performance. They played respectable young bachelors with an endearing rustic nature, nimble of foot, comedic with strong acting abilities.
The sweet pie filling between the lovelorn brothers and suitors are the town’s (later kidnapped) maidens. The girls worked their magic over the boys, Katie, Maria, Amy, Jessica, Hannah and Gemma each displaying their performance and dancing skills. All together the boys and girls were exhilarating, complementing each other.
Adam Pontipee, the eldest brother, opens the show on his quest to find a bride, “Bless your Beautiful Hide”. Gary Jones wins over the audience with his charismatic vocals and dramatic interpretation of the all American buck-skin hero. Adam finds his bride in Milly Bradon, a feisty frontier woman. Aimee Clare took hold of the character showing the strength these women of the old west had to have, at the same time giving way to the pain of romance.
This is a musical that creates a feel good factor which quickly spreads around the auditorium. A blissful night’s entertainment!