If I’m completely honest, I went into this show slightly blindly. I knew that it was a classic American musical about the New York gambling scene in the time of the gangsters and criminals, and that Rebel Wilson was starring. That was pretty much it – I mean, i’d heard a few songs here and there but I really didn’t know what to expect. I was just keen to see what it was all about after seeing and hearing so much about it!
To put it simply, if you know about “Crap Game” (or “Craps”) – that’s basically what this story revolves around. Alongside a tale of two lovers; one couple being engaged for 14 years, and the other making an unlikely pairing in an unconventional way. While it may not sound like much, it makes for a really gripping and sweet story; and while I have little to compare it to it, it seemed to stick to the 1920s setting which a few subtle nods to modern humour.
As for the cast, there’s denying in the fact I admire Rebel Wilson’s work, she’s simply a brilliant modern comedy actress. However, initially I was sceptical as to what she would be like on stage in a full-time musical in the West End as I’m so used to seeing her on the screen; though she exceeded my expectations. I admire her efforts, for she definitely has talent and in regards to representation, it was really refreshing and inspiring to see a (dare I say it, as I hate the term) “plus size” female lead on stage because from my personal opinion it’s rare to see (even if she does have the Hollywood sign to her name – hopefully it opens doors…).
My only issue is that while I love Rebel and it’s great that they’ve promoted her so heavily – it’s again become that thing of “celebrity casting”, which is of course exciting. However, it seems almost unfair on the rest of the cast and crew who work just as hard, and may lead to disappointment among fans if that star falls ill, etc
(even though that is the risk you face with live theatre); and this isn’t the only show guilty of it.
With that said, this cast was simply stunning and all deserve their round of applause.
As for the technicality, I loved the set and costumes. I really love the 20s period styling anyway, so it was exciting to see that on stage and immerse myself into that period for a few hours.
The music also very much fit with the time, and really gave you that classic musical vibe. The most memorable numbers being the obvious of “Luck Be A Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat”. (I also enjoyed any of the Adelaide or Sarah numbers too mind!).
Overall, it was a highly enjoyable show that I now understand why it’s so loved and has had the power to be revived several times since it’s debut in 1950. I think everyone from teenage years upwards could enjoy this show (which was somewhat reflected in the audience – though I feel the younger side of the audience may have been pulled in by Rebel perhaps) as it’s full of fun, laughs, high energy and love. It’s such a shame it’s closing early, in just a matter of days, as it’s a cracking production that deserves more credit. Rating: ★★★★
♥ MOLLY THE BLOGGER ♥