This classic musical does seem a little bit dated and plays on stereotypes, but it doesn’t fail to win you over – no matter how reluctantly!
It has to be said, every time that you watch this musical it becomes increasingly clear how much alike the fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs it is. One woman taking charge of seven brothers, helping them to find their way – teaching them how to treat women (ok well that isn’t so much like the fairytale), while living in a remote area is a perfectly quaint idea.
Yes, there is still plenty of stereotypes which seem dated in terms of attitudes towards women – but being made in the 1950’s set even further back in time this isn’t surprising – even if it is a bit cringe worthy to modern audiences.
However, despite this the characters themselves can’t help but be likeable. From the feisty Milly (Jane Powell) who is someone who stands for no nonsense from any of the brothers, to the wonderfully stubborn Adam (Howard Keel) who despite his old fashioned behaviour you can’t help but warm to.
But it is the wonderful and memorable choreography by Michael Kidd, particularly during the barn raising sequence that makes this musical such a joy to watch. There is such an energy and pace about it that definitely puts a smile on the face.
There are some great songs as well (songs that are perhaps aren’t so familiar to a casual music fan) such as ‘Going Courtin’ and ‘Bless Your Beautiful Hide’ that are quirky and rousing in their own ways.
If you had to sum up this musical it would be quirky, refreshing and wonderfully old fashioned – with the ability to lift the spirits from beginning to end.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers might seem dated but there is still plenty will delight modern audiences – in particular with the music and lyrics. It is only a shame that I didn’t get it performed on stage in full when it was at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre last year (typical British weather to blame!).