'Me and My Girl' proves to be a delightful comedy


I saw "Me and My Girl" at the Pasadena Theatre Company's Baldwin Hall eight days ago and I'm still singing "The Lambeth Walk" in the shower.

It's that kind of show; a snappy, tuneful British musical comedy from the '30s that delights with its breezy score, humorously drawn characters and clever writing.

"I'm not to be cast aside lightly," pouts the imperious duchess to her long-suffering consort.

"No," he says, "you ought to be thrown with great force."

The "Me and My Girl" plot is the stuff of which cute farce is made. The local earl has died and -- much to the horror of his family and fellow blue bloods -- his heir, Bill Snibson, proves to be a coarse, good-natured Cockney lad with a flair for picking pockets. Worse yet, he's stuck on dear, sweet Sally who acts and sounds like Eliza Doolittle did before her crash course with that fast-talking professor .

Oh, the high-falutin do their best to pry Bill and Sally apart but -- cor, blimey! -- it turns out love rules the roost even at Hareford Hall.

There are notable performances here, particularly the one given by the immensely talented Bill Cookson as the reluctant young aristocrat. He sparkles on stage, sings and dances like a champ, does a convincing Cockney and has a flair for slapstick. He's the package.

Stacey Werling doesn't quite have the voice to match him, but she's still a charmer as Sally and Kathy Marshall is delightful as the exasperated dutchess. Larry Goldstein proves an excellent wisecracker as Sir John the ironist and Chuck Hastings is hysterical as Parchester the solicitor who's more likely to be dancing about with a flower in his teeth than filing a brief.

Some questionable British accents aside, the entire ensemble exudes color and energy as do the terrific sets.

The other real star here is director Robert Neal Marshall, who has incorporated more nifty little touches into this show than I can begin to count. It was the accumulation of these clever nuances of character, color and movement that had the audience whooping up a storm the night I was there.

"Me and My Girl" plays at Baldwin Hall through July 30. Call the Pasadena Theatre Company at 923-7687 for details.

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