Cadogan Hall brought a lavish concert performance of the piece to its stage, and – once again – we saw and heard just why we should value this work amongst the highest achievements in the musical theatre. It is simply breath-taking. Indeed, freed of decor and costume, lighting and choreography, and of all the pageantry of the theatre, when exposed to the forensic inspection of the concert platform its virtues come across even more strongly.
Indeed, the most interesting thing about this reworking of the piece is that, while it may be called Gigi, and there is constant talk of, with and about her, the fact is that Gigi is but a supporting character. Really, the musical should be retitled Gaston because this production is about him in every way. Victoria Clarke, Dee Hoty and Howard McGillan shine as the experienced Broadway’s stars they are. But Corey Cott is a true, enduring star in the making and the whole evening is worth it to watch Cott’s assured steps on that path.
The dancing has a style, a language of its own and, certainly as choreographed by Bergasse, is more articulate than pages of dialogue. The steps are tricky, pulsing with purpose and bursting with energy and style. Very balletic, but with that jazzy Broadway edge which is just thrilling to watch especially where, as here, the cast is perfectly drilled, perfectly in sync and perfectly dazzling.