It seemed a daunting prospect, to encapsulate the golden years of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with just a handful of people, a scantily-clad stage and music but this show certainly delivered
The MGM Story
Theatre Royal, Windsor
Tuesday, September 27
It seemed a daunting prospect, to encapsulate the golden years of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with just a handful of people, a scantily-clad stage and music but this show certainly delivered. With a cast of three, supported by a five-piece band, this was an ambitious staging of the history of one of Hollywood's greatest movie musical production companies and it was packed with illustrative song-and-dance treats. Steven Dalziel, James Leece and Miranda Wilford had the talent and ability to deftly bring us an array of numbers, all of which they clearly revelled in and felt passionate about, as well as giving us little history lessons. They brought us all the hits and the accompanying studio tales, from the expressly innocent days of Over the Rainbow, through the wartime Meet Me in St Louis right through to Gigi.
With fond recollections of the roaring lion in the MGM logo, I was enlightened by the background information on the productions, cast and company, with behind-the-scenes tidbits on Frances Gumm, AKA Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra and more. It was both educational and inspirational and the trio are to be congratulated on their sheer stamina, reciting stories, tap-dancing, playing with props and flying about the stage to bring us hits from The Wizard of Oz, Annie Get your Gun, Singin' in the Rain, Easter Parade, On the Town and others.
From slapstick to tragedy, romance to comedy, this was a lovely and melodic show that brought us the sunrise and sunset of MGM's golden musical years and everything in-between.