we cain’t say no to this musical theatre evening at the Proms

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Nevertheless he and director Rachel Kavanaugh did an effective job of staging the show on the Albert Hall platform, blessed with an enthusiastically committed cast. A young American baritone Nathaniel Hackmann sang eloquently as Curly, David Seadon-Young and Marcus Brigstocke were both excellent as morose Jud and huckster Ali Hakim, while New York City Ballet star Robert Fairchild, moonlighting from An American in Paris, danced his chaps off as Will. The women were rather less good: Belinda Lang rather overdid Aunt Eller’s hollering in the auction scene and as Laurey, Scarlett Strallen’s soprano had too much operatic warble.

Such reservations aside, this was a happy evening: John Wilson’s orchestra played with its customary vim and for a nice change, the audience went home humming the tunes rather than the sets. 

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