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The Hello Girls

The Hello Girls

Music and Lyrics by Peter Mills & Cara Reichel

Director Jason Langley HE/THEY

Musical Director Natalya Ainsley SHE/HER

Choreographer Amy Orman SHE/HER

Photo Credit Jane Duong

Hayes Theatre until February 4

Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP

Theatre reviews sydney

In 1918 the U.S. Army is fighting a war in Europe and a group of feisty, female, trail-blazing American telephone operators are required travel to France to work their skills in the crucial communications network.

Under the ultimate command of General John Pershing, sexism and misogyny are deeply ingrained in the armed forces but the twenty-six-year-old Grace Banker, the Chief Operator of the U.S. Signal Corps, and her team are determined to shake up the status quo. 

The talented young cast of thirteen is led by Rhianna McCourt SHE/HER as Grace Banker, Kira Leiva SHE/HER as Suzanne Prevot, Kaori Maeda-Judge SHE/HER as Bertha Hunt, Nikola Gucciardo SHE/HER as Helen Hill and Kaitlin Nhill SHE/HER as Louise Lebreton. 

Theatre review the hello girls

Not sure why the producers include the HE/SHE/HER/HIM/IT/THEY pronouns in the programme credits. They’re all performers. Probably bowing to political correctness and woke.

The twelve musicians back them as they act, dance and sing their way through twenty-one musical numbers.

The Hello Girls is based on a true story of daring, courage and determination. On May 22, 1919, Grace Banker was awarded the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Service Medal for “exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility in connection with the operations against an armed enemy of the United States.” In his letter of recommendation for Banker to receive this award, Colonel Parker Hitt of the U.S. Army Signal Corps wrote, “Her untiring devotion to duty under trying conditions of service at these headquarters has gone far to assure the success of the telephone service in the operations of the First Army against the St. Mihiel Salient and to the North of Verdun from September 10 to November 9, 1918”. 

Two weeks later the U.S. Congress granted women the right to vote.

Yes, this all-singing, all-dancing musical, The Hello Girls, is on at the Hayes Theatre but the story behind it is truly powerful and inspirational.

sydney theatre review



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