REVIEW: Jerry’s Girls, Menier Chocolate Factory

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REVIEW: Jerry’s Girls, Menier Chocolate Factory

Musical theatre revival is an enjoyable journey through Jerry Herman's much-loved hits

Louisa Walters is Features Editor at the Jewish News and specialises in food and travel writing

Jessica Martin, Cassidy Janson and Julie Yammanee in Jerry's Girls at Menier Chocolate Factory. Photo: Tristram Kenton
Jessica Martin, Cassidy Janson and Julie Yammanee in Jerry's Girls at Menier Chocolate Factory. Photo: Tristram Kenton

As show revivals go, it may not be the most eagerly anticipated, but Cassidy Jackson, Jessica Martin and Julie Yammanee bring Jerry’s Girls to life with mesmerising musicality at the Menier.

New York-born composer-lyricist Jerry Herman, who died aged 88 in 2019, wrote the show in the 1980s with Larry Alford and Wayne Cilento, but of course is best known for his 1964 show Hello, Dolly! and La Cage Aux Folles which opened in 1984.

The loose plot centres on three female artists backstage in a dressing room at the theatre, putting on makeup and singing the slow, emotive numbers. A shiny red curtain is closed to denote front of house, and it is forward of this that that they perform the upbeat numbers. Their voices harmonise beautifully and they sing with emotion and gusto. Full kudos to the all-female band playing at the side of the stage, whose names are included when the trio sing the title song Jerry’s Girls.

I Am What I Am from La Cage Aux Folles, the eponymous Hello Dolly! and Time Heals Everything from Mack and Mabel are met with rapturous applause, and we are also treated to numbers from the lesser-know shows such as Milk and Honey, Parade and A Day in Hollywood.

Sandwiched between La Cage at Regent’s Park last summer and Imelda Staunton’s Hello Dolly! revival opening at the Palladium next month this summer, the intimate auditorium at the Menier is the perfect setting for this low-key, short (105 mins including interval) show. Musical theatre lovers and Jerry Herman fans would do well to get there before the end of the run on 29 June.

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