Monday, January 30, 2017

review - THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES - Hale Centre Theatre

Rebecca Bryce, Gina Kim, Jessie Jo Pauley, and Melissa VanSlyke
Photo by Nick Woodward-Shaw 

highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through April 18th.

"...The Marvelous Wonderettes, which features four fun and engaging characters and over two dozen songs, is the female equivalent of Forever Plaid,...Full of quirky yet lovable characters and many well known songs, and featuring a stellar cast, The Marvelous Wonderettes is receiving a lively production at Hale Centre Theatre. The creation of Roger Bean, The Marvelous Wonderettes starts in 1958 when a female quartet has been asked to sing at their high school prom..Bean's script gives us plenty of details about these women. From their romances to their dreams and jealousies, we learn all about these four high school girls in the first act. The second act is set 10 years later at their high school reunion where the group has been asked to perform again and we discover what happens to them after high school. Featuring familiar songs ranging from "Mr. Sandman" to "Son of a Preacher Man," The Marvelous Wonderettes is very effective in how it not only finds a way to present songs from two different decades, due to the decade span across the two acts, but also in portraying how these four characters change over that 10-year period as well....Hale's cast and direction are superb in bringing the lovable ladies and familiar songs to life. Cindy Lou, played by Rebecca Bryce, is the bossy group member we discover is also spending time with the boyfriend of her fellow Wonderette Betty Jean. That creates tension in the group, with Melissa VanSlyke's layered portrayal of the spirited and joking Betty Jean, showing moments of sadness and hurt beneath the fun-loving exterior. Gina Kim is a hoot as Missy, who tries to hold the group together and also has a secret crush on someone close to the group, while Jessie Jo Pauley's gum-chewing Suzy is spunky and a little clueless. All four are talented actresses and have voices that excel on their many solo and group songs. Lincoln Wight's music direction achieves some stunning blended harmonies by the foursome ...Director-choreographer Cambrian James does exceptional work in several ways. He makes sure the foursome deliver believable characters; creates moments of physical comedy that are organic; and provides more serious scenes that resonate without being too cloying or unrealistic. James' choreography offers period perfect steps that change across the decade span of the show ...Hale Centre Theatre continues to produce some of the best non-professional musicals in the Valley and their The Marvelous Wonderettes is a simply joyous and joyful experience. " -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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