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Simply Heavenly Review 2003

Simply Heavenly, Langston Hughes' flop musical now revived at the Young Vic, is exactly what its name suggests. Yes, the plot is so thin it's nearly invisible, but the show carries you out on a high because of its unfaltering charm and heart. To boot, Josette Bushell-Mingo's intimate, atmospheric production has a uniformly stellar cast with voices which raise the Young Vic's roof, despite some of the material being fairly weak.

Clive Rowe and Ruby Turner as Melon and Miss Mamie are electric in their numbers together and they both have charisma in spades. Nicola Hughes is wonderfully vampy as Zarita but also reveals her hurt, tender side at the right moments.

Rob Howell's bar setting makes clever use of the space, making the audience feel included and cleverly recreating the atmosphere of 1940s Harlem.

A fun and heart-warmingly enjoyable piece of musical theatre.


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