Tap Dancing through the Roaring Twenties

My One and Only
Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Book by Peter Stone and Timothy. S. Mayer
Performed by Cynthia Dale, Laird McIntosh and Company
Directed and Choreographed by Michael Lichtefeld
Avon Theatre – Stratford Festival
May 12 to October 28, 2007

Live! On Stage
Review by Mary Alderson

My One and Only is an extravaganza with all the glamour and glitter of a big Broadway production, and it’s sitting right on our doorstep at Stratford’s Avon Theatre. While the plot of this faux twenties musical may not be very deep, it’s done up in such a spectacular fashion that the shallow story is easily forgiven.
My One and Only is the pulling together of many of George and Ira Gershwin’s favourite songs and putting them into a new story, but one set in the Roaring Twenties. Producers knew that today’s audience doesn’t want to sit through the original, dated plots, so they had a new story written to make use of the great old tunes. The Broadway hit Crazy for You was put together in a similar fashion.
In My One and Only, Edythe Herbert, famous for swimming the English Channel, has joined The Ladies of the Aquacade, a water ballet/synchronized swimming entertainment troupe. She is being pursued by Captain Billy Buck Chandler, an aviator who hopes to beat Lindbergh in making the first trans-Atlantic flight. Edythe is trying to escape from an overbearing manager, while Billy is helped by Mickey, the female airplane mechanic.
The role of Edythe Herbert is ideal for Cynthia Dale. Dale, a perennial favourite of Stratford’s musical theatre audience, is the ultimate flapper – not only can she tap dance with the best, she can make the kewpie-doll faces to add laughs to the role. And the old Gershwin tunes suit Dale’s beautiful voice perfectly.
Her co-star Laird Mackintosh is wonderful as the tap-dancing aviator (yes, even the play itself makes fun of that combination). As Captain Billy Buck Chandler, Mackintosh goes through a transformat