Jerry's Girls

Yesterday was my first trip to the Menier Chocolate Factory, and I can see it being a regular. The theatre is a delightful selection box, full of lovely nooks and crannies, with theatrical – and chocolatey – memorabilia.

Jerry’s Girls did exactly what I thought it would – it beautifully showcased some great songs by Jerry Herman, by using the great talents of its three wonderful actresses. I knew it was a Revue show, but was pleasantly surprised by its attempts to tell a story, through song, but also through facial expressions.

The scene was set with three dressing room mirrors and three rails of costumes, for each of the three actors, Julie Yamanee, Cassidy Janson, and Jessica Martin. The more fast-paced, dance numbers take place in front of a big red curtain, and even in the auditorium itself, while Herman’s more thoughtful, touching numbers are reserved for when the three women head back to the quiet and solace of their dressing room.

The songs from Hello Dolly, Mame, Mack & Mabel, La Cage Aux Folles, Parade as well as lesser known shows A Day in Hollywood, Milk and Honey and Dear World, come thick and fast. Jerry Herman wrote some great songs, especially for women, and these three perform them with relish!

Comic actress Jessica Martin is extremely funny as the butt of the "Take it all Off" joke when the punters urge her to "put it all back on" and again in "We Need a Little Christmas," where she's the only one of the three who doesn't get a cute Elf costume.  She really excels in the more poignant material, particularly the very moving "I Don't Want to Know" and "La Cage Aux Folles". And of course she gets to be the wonderful Dolly Levi!

Cassidy Janson shows us what a talented comic actor she is. She doesn’t fail to put a smile on your face, but she can turn the comedy off at will, and is also incredible at touching your heartstrings. Her "I Won't Send Roses" and "Best of Times" are particularly fabulous vehicles for her stunning vocals to soar into a passionate belt.

Julie Yamanee, as the young inexperienced ingenue, gives a wonderful rendition of "Look What Happened to Mabel".

When the three women perform together, it is truly life affirming, all three ages united especially in "I Am What I Am". Their voices tone perfectly together.

These three actresses are West End triple threats – singing, dancing, and playing equal measures of comedy and pathos.

It’s a very simple production in terms of its concept and choreography. It is a show that says - ‘I Am What I Am’! At two hours including an interval, it’s a short but warm tribute to Jerry Herman performed beautifully by a very talented trio of women.

Jerry's Girls is a treat for the ears. Some amazing songs performed by a trio of fabulous musical theatre actresses.

This show was reviewed on the 2nd June 2024 at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London where it runs until the 29th June 2024.  Tickets available here: Buy Jerry's Girls tickets | Menier Chocolate Factory Official Box Office

Review written by Ruth Hawkins

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