Hold on to your hats – you can now take a trip down Nostalgia Lane with the Marvelous Wonderettes, the Beck Center for the Performing Arts’ latest Main Stage offering. Playing now through October 16, 2011, this “jukebox musical” was written by Roger Bean and directed by William Roudebush.
The show features Amiee Collier as Betty Jean, Nikki Curmaci as Cindy Lou, Theresa Kloos as Missy and Caitlin Elizabeth Reilly as Suzy. The fantastic four are a barrage of candy colors and hip harmonies. Leading us into the world of the fabulous 50s and sassy 60s, this quartet takes on a menagerie of musical hits such as “Mr. Sandman”, “Dream Lover”, “Mr. Lee”, “Sincerely”, “It’s in His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)”, “It’s My Party”, “Son of a Preacher Man”, and “Respect”.
The loosely-woven story is set in two decades. Act One opens at the 1958 Springfield High School Prom (go Chipmunks!) and wings us through the ups and downs of teenage love, fluctuating friendship and the giggles of girls who love to sing. Act Two opens at the 1958 Springfield High School 10-year reunion, showing us how the four have grown up – or not!
The plot itself is nothing complicated – the tale of this group of chatty Chipmunks is predictable, with no big shockers. What makes the piece shine is the pure joy and enthusiasm of the cast – “I love you girls! Go Chipmunks!” Each talented performer brings something a little different to her character. Amiee Collier is a mischievous, trouble-making Betty Jean. Nikki Curmaci brings a leader, spotlight-hog edge to Cindy Lou. Theresa Kloos is a demure, goody-gumdrop Missy. Caitlin Elizabeth Reilly is a bubblegum-blowing, effervescent Suzy (think a teenage “Kitty Forman” of That 70s Show fame). Together, the ladies have a zippy and well-blending sound that exudes teenage joy before it roars into womanhood.
Flimsy story or not, The Marvelous Wonderettes is a spiffy evening that’s a good time for boys and girls of all ages. The songs will stick in your head, and keep you humming all the way home.
Overheard from random patrons in the lobby after the show:
“Those girls are wonderful!”
“Their voices are just great.”
“I know all of the songs!”
“All of the colors on the stage are really cool.”
Director- William Roudebush. Musical Director- Larry Goodpaster. Choreography- Caitlin Elizabeth Reilly. Scenic Design-Ben Needham. Costume Design- David Glowe. Lighting Design- Trad A. Burns. Sound Design- Richard B. Ingraham. Technical Director- Joseph Carmola.
The Marvelous Wonderettes runs now through October 16, 2011 at the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood, OH. For tickets and more information, visit www.beckcenter.org or call the Box Office at 216-521-2540.
If you have a Cleveland Performing Arts story or event, contact Cleveland Performing Arts Examiner, KATE MILLER at [email protected].