The set was simple, but a really great depiction of 1920’s and 1930’s vaudeville, changed by the cast from backstage, to stage, to hotel rooms and so on, with good use of lighting for each. It started with a largely empty stage, with some large packing cases, from which, as the beautiful Jule Styne overture was playing, Young Louise appeared. Other characters joined her on stage in a beautifully choreographed dance which really set the scene for what was to follow.
The action starts with Baby June (who was later to become the movie star June Havoc) and Young Louise being taken from audition to audition by Mama Rose, along with various other children and their pushy mothers.
Director and choreographer Joseph Pitcher cleverly used the entire theatre and auditorium to great affect to ensure that the audience, full from our lovely food, felt truly immersed in this vaudeville world. The iconic moment when we first hear from Rose, with the now famous line “sing out Louise!” from the aisle next to us was one such example, but there were many other such examples. It was a really good use of the space.