Londonist isn’t going to lie to you. We love a musical. And we love Regent’s Park. And what better way to combine those two loves than with Lady Be Good at the Open Air Theatre?
This 1924 Gershwin musical is perfect if, like us, you enjoy some light, breezy fun. This isn’t by any means serious theatre – the plot revolves around the Trevor siblings, Susie and Dick, who’ve been kicked out of their home and are living on the sidewalk, but still have plenty of time to attend posh parties.
Susie meets a mysterious stranger and falls madly in love but he disappears without ever revealing his name. Dick is in love with Susie’s friend Shirley but thinks maybe he should marry wealthy party host Josephine for her money. To stop Dick from having to marry Josephine, Susie agrees to help lawyer J. Watterson Watkins by impersonating the Mexican bride of the presumed deceased Jack Robinson for a share of Jack’s inheritance – and in order to prevent Watkins from being killed by the Mexican assassin who’s been following him. Oh, and it turns out Jack Robinson’s not dead but is really the mysterious stranger Susie fell in love with.
Whew. It’s a bit exhausting.
The story’s not the really strong point here though; it’s a bit frenetic and gets wrapped up a little too neatly and a little too quickly at the end of Act Two. But the songs have a familiar Gershwin sound to them and they’re definitely catchy. The costumes, dancing and acting are all excellent. And really isn’t that what we love in a musical?
There are a few disappointments – a few of the American accents aren’t quite as convincing as one might hope, and we found Susie’s impersonation of the Mexican senorita to be a bit grating. Oh, and of course, it’s outdoors so if the weather doesn’t cooperate, you’re out of luck.
But if the sun is shining (or at least, if it’s not pouring down with rain) and you’re in the mood for a very fun show, Lady Be Good is going to be right up your alley.