My One and Only

We saw the Gershwin musical My One and Only at the Piccadilly theatre on the evening before the end of its London run, having had to cancel two earlier bookings. Our older daughter saw it at Chichester last year and sent us a lyrical commendation, urging us to look out for its arrival in London. We thought it an outstanding production: slick, funny, splendidly acted and sung, with spectacularly proficient and exhilarating tap-dancing and other choreography, and more authentically sexy than any other musical that we could remember. In his original review in the Guardian of 26 July, 2001, Michael Billington wrote:

"…the virtue of this production is that Janie Dee’s deliciously amphibious heroine and Tim Flavin’s Texan aviator can scarcely keep their hands off each other. In the show’s highlight, S’Wonderful, Dee beats a loving tattoo on Flavin’s bum. They proceed to tap-dance on water, dive into pools and end up with their bodies, whose contours are emphasised by their wet clothes, sinuously entwined. What Ingram and Horwood have done, astonishingly, is inject genuine sexual passion into a parodically innocent plot. Even the comic number Funny Face, deftly executed by Anna-Jane Casey [Jenny Galloway in the London version] as a disguised Fed agent, and Hilton McRae as her bound prisoner, acquires a faintly erotic, sadomasochistic quality. But the show, in which dance dominates, also has moments of pure elegance, not least when the dapper Richard Lloyd King, as a character called Mr Magix, gives Flavin’s hero tuition in tap and effortlessly displays the importance of ease and style…. "

That August Michael Sell added that:

"For those who love dance, Gershwin and extravaganza, this show is not to be missed."

It only remains to add that the delectable, multi-award-winning Janie Dee sings beautifully, getting every last delightful drop out of the great Gershwin songs. She puts 99 per cent of contemporary pop singers to shame. How sad that this outstanding show—beating Chicago hands down in all departments, easily equalling the current revival of the imperishable Kiss Me Kate—has had to close on the due date, a planned extension failing to attract enough support to be viable.

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