This well-known Richard Gere film takes to the stage in a production that tells the story of Zack Mayo who has had a hard life. His mum died when he was a kid and his dad is a drunk in the Navy – but Mayo wants to make it on his own and after passing college he enlists to become a US Navy Pilot. He finds it hard to settle in and struggles to work as a team as he is used to being a survivor. However, is friend Sid who is from a good naval family background, supports him and together they get through the first few weeks. Of course, when they meet a couple of girls they know which one they like. Zack likes Paula and Sid likes Lynette. They fall for each other despite the Sargent warning Zack and Sid that local girls are looking at officers as a way out. It’s a classic story with a modern twist which includes some sex scenes and some adult themes. Well not completely modern as it has an 80’s soundtrack to die for.
Zack is played by Jonny Fines and he gives a rousing performance as Zach. You love him because he is vulnerable and has had a tough life yet is trying his best to improve himself. Jonny plays the part perfectly and we all fall for him. Paula is played by Emma Williams and she gives a fantastic performance as Paula. Believable and with the best voice in the company she is outstanding in the role. Sid is played by Ian Mcintosh and Ian is the ideal candidate for the role of Sid. He plays him with strength and passion, and we all want to hug him when it looks like his love life is falling apart. Jessica Daley plays Lynette and she acts her ass off making her very watchable. Sargent Foley is played by Ray Shell and he is a formable Sargent. Scary, strong and everything you would expect a Sargent to be. A special mention for Keisha Atwell who plays Casey Seegar. Keisha has an amazing vocal range and gives a great performance of someone who has to fight to get where she wants to be. True girl power.
The show has a fabulous range of 80’s numbers including Girl’s Just Want To Have Fun, St Elmo’s Fire, Livin’ On A Prayer, Kids In America, Heart Of Glass, Material Girl, Alone, Take On Me and The Final Countdown. Sadly, the arrangement of some of the songs make them downbeat and almost unrecognisable; certainly not a sing-a-long but the songs are all relevant and picked for the words rather than the sing-a-long factor. The sets are simple but very effective and combined with the use of big screens it certainly fills the senses.
The show delivers a good story told well with some amazing acting that shines through. This romantic musical celebrates triumph over adversity and features one of the most iconic romantic scenes ever portrayed on screen. If you loved the film – you will love this! Now showing at Milton Keynes Theatre until 14 July 2018