Going out On The Town marks quite a departure from recent productions by St Albans Musical Theatre Company (SAMTC).

After the likes of Shrek, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Elf, SAMTC has reverted to a classic musical in Bernstein’s On The Town, currently being performed at the Alban Arena.

And while the younger generation might never have heard of the musical that focuses on three sailors who are given 24 hours leave in New York City, they can’t fail to enjoy this version.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Sailors Gabey, Ozzie and Chip in On The TownSailors Gabey, Ozzie and Chip in On The Town (Image: Origin8Photography)

For it has all the razzamatazz and colour that audiences have come to expect from SAMTC backed by superb live music from the orchestra under musical director Colin Fraser.

The story behind On The Town, which started life as a short ballet by the acclaimed Jerome Robbins, weaves in and out of the fortunes of the three sailors, Gabey, Ozzie and Chip, during their shore leave.

It focuses on the romantic adventures of the trio with all three hunting for Miss Turnstiles, aka Ivy Smith, with whom Gabey is smitten.

But it is the love affairs of the other two that produce arguably the best duets in the show.

The first is 'Come Up To My Place' performed by Chip and the worldly-wise maneater Hildy as she drives him around New York in a yellow cab.

The second is 'Carried Away' in which Ozzie falls for the apparent bluestocking Claire in a museum scene.

And while they are not specifically singled out, the three members of the cast who take the roles of statues in the museum should be highlighted for their ability to stay still for so long in the most awkward of positions. Absolutely amazing!

On The Town as its origins suggest is far more balletic than other SAMTC productions. So when Gabey and Ivy finally come together it is in a pas de deux.

It is beautifully performed with Lucy Bishop-Laggett as Ivy clearly an accomplished ballerina and Elliot Moore as Gabey remarkably light on his feet.

Cam Wilson as Chip and Grace Robinson as Hildy are hilarious as he fights to spend his leave exploring New York while she has other plans for him.

And Ruaridh Macphee as Ozzie and Rachel Maloy as Claire are just as much fun as she insists she is getting engaged to Matthew Gregory’s Pitkin despite her passion for the sailor.

As with all SAMTC productions, it could never rise to the heights without the company as a whole who throw themselves so exuberantly into their roles.

On The Town is directed by Dom O’Hanlon whose 15-year experience of directing musical theatre is more than apparent.

Choreographer Nicola Martinus-Smith had her work cut out with so many dance scenes but rises to the challenge expertly.

On The Town runs until this Saturday (4) with evening performances at 7.30pm and a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Tickets can be obtained at the Arena box office on 01727 844488.