The success of 'Les Misérables' on the big screen suggests that the public appetite for musicals remains as strong as ever. Well away from 19th century France, 'Mile High' is a contemporary musical set in the Mediterrean - a camp but enjoyable offering, which follows the cabin crew of two rival airlines as they fight for love and supremacy.
The focus is mainly fixed upon two flight attendants from the ailing Icarus Royal Airlines - aspiring pilot Richenda (a sympathetic Jessica Sherman) and the romance-driven Taylor (Ralph Bogard). Richenda finds herself under the ire of Maroula (the vivacious Cristina Donhem), a celebrated flight attendant from the classier Fantasy Airlines, while Taylor has a similarly fraught relationship with Fantasy attendant Clinton (Alex Beaumont) - except his situation is considerably more lust-based.
The driving force of 'Mile High' is Richenda's internal struggle, as she attempts to balance her career aspirations and her desire for reassurance and romance. Writers Mike Hume and Terry Newman have clearly been unconcerned by originality, and their particular insistence on stereotypically over-the-top camp male flight attendants is something of a disappointment. They are responsible, however, for regular comedic quips, most of which are delivered with aplomb by Ralph Bogard as Taylor.
'Mile High''s musical numbers are fairly underwhelming, thanks mostly to an inability to actually hear much of the singing above the backing track. A terrific 'Westside Story' homage is an exception, superbly pitting the rival airlines against one another in song and dance. Thomas Michael Voss's choreography is impressive considering the relatively small stage - although perhaps the musical may have been better served with cutting its cast size.
Despite its cliché ridden/driven plot, 'Mile High' has enough enjoyable moments to sustain audience interest - thanks largely to the energy of its cast. A final note on The LOST Theatre, a suitable home for 'Mile High' and well worth a visit for its wide range of beers alone.
Find more info on 'Mile High - The Musical' at milehighmusical.com.