Girls Gone Wild (Stage Thoughts, The Girls, Phoenix Theater)


In one of Charles Isherwood’s Facebook’s postings, he recommended ‘The Girls’ as the one show to see if you ever found yourself on West End, and I remember liking their performance at The Oliviers early this year. So when I was at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square, I asked the very knowledgeable clerk there what she thought of the production. I told her that it was either this or the new London production of ’42nd Street with Sheena Easton. (My baby takes the morning train)  She told me ‘The Girls’ s an original London musical and is not playing anywhere else. She made sense, and went ahead and purchased tickets.

Meh. I wanted to like it much more than I did. This material comes from successful film version (which I loved)  and it also had a straight play version, which I didn’t see. I mean, I imagined the musical to be somewhat of a Golden Girls kind of comedy. But seriously it had quite a few golden moments. This incarnation of the material focuses more on the back stories of these women before posing nude for the calendar. The first act was so generic I was beginning to think I wasted my time picking this show – though I did like ‘Yorkshire,’ the opening choral number. I wanted to like the score, written by Gary Barlow with Tim Firth.  Half of it was appealing but really, the whole show sounds like one whole song, and I though some numbers were useless and was done so each character gets a solo. Things pick up on the scenes where they photograph their calendar entries, but they were close to losing me halfway through the show.

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