Miss Atomic Bomb* (St James Theatre)

Posted: March 14, 2016 in Theatre

Miss-Atomic-Bomb-will-be-co-directed-by-Adam-Long-and-Bill-Deamer-NO-CREDIT-700x455.”What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” they say, so why did the people behind this turkey ignore that golden rule? The book by Adam Long, Alex Jackson-Long and Gabriel Vick for this new musical has the feel of one of those abysmal Elvis Presley movies of the mid-60s in which the star would have been cast as Joey, the conscientiously objecting army deserter (here played by Dean John-Wilson). The team’s songs are about at the same level. The setting is Las Vegas in the early 1950’s, the US army is conducting nuclear tests in the Nevada desert and tourists are flocking in to take a look at the glowing sky, as if they are seeing the Northern Lights. Joey’s brother (Simon Lipkin) is manager of a failing Mob owned hotel and, to rescue it and save his own skin, he hatches the idea of staging the beauty contest of the title. Candy (Florence Andrews), a sheep farmer and her friend Myrna (Catherine Tate), a fashion designer, become involved to raise the cash to pay off debts and flee to far-off Californ-ya (isn’t it the adjacent State?). Andrews’ voice has a nice Country and Western twang that makes some of the songs sound better than they actually are and there are a couple of decent dance routines (Bill Deamer is choreographer, co-directing with Adam Long), but otherwise, the show is corny, dated, it looks cheap and, worst of all, it is frequently boring. The inimitable Miss Tate cannot help but be funny, yet even she struggles and Daniel Boys is also wasted, attacking the role of Mr Potts, an over-diligent debt collector, as if auditioning to play Javert in Les Mis. So there are a fair number of established musical theatre performers caught up in this debacle and most of them may soon be trying to remove the embarrassment from their CVs. Will someone please nuke this show!

Performance date: 12 March 2016

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