Trinity Methodist Drama at the Civic Theatre
A good old-fashioned musical given a good old-fashioned production by the Trinity team.
Eric Smart's polished production took us effortlessly from the Golden Garter to the Bijou dressing room to the cabin to the Colonel's ball. A big, bright chorus made the most of their numbers: the Black Hills of Dakota particularly effective, with capes and ringlets, wagons and lanterns making their way through the Civic stalls.
Some good principals, too. Especially successful at “carrying beyond the footlights” were David Slater [straight from the Steam Packet to Deadwood] in the Howard Keel role of Wild Bill Hickok, Charlotte Reid as Katie Brown, the mousy dresser who steps into the star's shoes [her first, hesitant, Keep It Under Your Hat was wonderfully awful], Patrick Willis's lively lieutenant and of course Corrina Wilson as Calam, a trigger-happy gamine with a gruff voice who finds her feminine side just in time to join Bill in belting out the show's Big Number.
It's show of two stages: the first coach, conjured up from an upright piano, a whip and a pair of parasols. And the second, real stagecoach wheeled on for the triple wedding – the third couple being the hapless Francis Fryer [Mark Clements] and Kate Harrison's Susan, whose uncle is Deadwood's hassled impresario [David Ehren].
The choreographer for this production was Julie Slater [impressive CanCan girls] and Gerald Hindes and his pit orchestra gave an excellent account of Sammy Fain's score.
production photography by Val Scott