Printable CopyHOLIDAY INN
Therry Dramatic Society
The Arts Theatre
Until 16 Jun 2018

Review by Brian Godfrey

No, “Holiday Inn” is not a treatise on the history of the American Hotel/Motel chain! It is a delightful, bright and breezy old-fashioned stage musical comedy, based on the 1942 movie of the same name that starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, with glorious songs by one of America’s songwriting greats, Irving Berlin.

The plot is one of those entertainingly flimsy ones that is somewhat in the ‘Let’s put on a show’ (but only on Public Holidays) variety. This slight difference to the formula allows for such Berlin hits as “White Christmas” and “Easter Parade” to sneak in, much to the audience’s enjoyment.

Speaking of enjoyment, that is what this production has loads of! Although Director Jude Hines is no novice to being at the helm of non-musicals, “Holiday Inn” is her first foray into the Musical genre, and one can only hope that she visits again. She has given Therry a very pacey, slick, fabulously looking and performed production. Hines manages to find every piece of humour in Gordon Greenburg and Chad Hodge’s well-written and witty script, whilst finding some beautifully romantic moments to tug slightly at our heart strings. The pace that she sets from the beginning of the show never falters, showing also in the fast, seamless scene changes.

Musical Directors Joanna Patrick (vocals) and Mark DeLaine (music) make sure that the musical side is strong and crystal clear, whilst Choreographer Thomas Phillips presents some quite authentic 40s film-style dance moves but with some of the innovative inventiveness that he is known for.

Brady Lloyd (who has been absent for far too long from the Adelaide stage) plays the Crosby role, Jim, and therefore has to sing, which he does wonderfully. Lindsay Prodea (thankfully never far from the Adelaide stage) playing the Astaire role of Ted needs to (of course) dance, which he does superbly. These two fine performers can do the other’s skill well and are both excellent actors, and it’s great to see their chemistry happening once more. The female leads are also well represented in the form of Nikki Gaertner Eaton (Lila) and Lauren Scarfe (Linda). Gaertner Eaton has great style and grace in her dance and a wicked sense of comedy, complete with a great nasally Bronx accent. Scarfe is so wonderfully humble and innocent, singing and dancing well, reminding one very much of a young June Allyson.

As with every good musical comedy, there must be scene stealers and this production have two of the best. Kate Anolak is absolutely hilarious as ‘handy man’ Lou(ise); her delivery of what must be some of the best lines in the show is absolutely spot on each and every time. Pint-sized young Charlie Zorkovic is absolutely adorable as Charlie and has Nannas in the audience wanting to bottle him up and take home; his delivery of lines is well past that of someone his age.

Andy Trimmings and the 16-strong ensemble (plus nine ‘booth’ singers) help to make this holiday outing very memorable.

So, go ‘Steppin’ Out’ in our less than ‘Blue Skies’ to the Arts Theatre, where I guarantee you will be ‘Shaking The Blues Away’.

Nikki Gaertner Eaton is the Manager of the Adelaide Theatre Guide.