This afternoon, we went out to the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood to see The Marvelous Wonderettes. Going in, I was a bit out of it, as I had been fighting a bad headache all morning. We had wonderful seats, partially due to our being in shutterbug93‘s group, which was up in the front row.
The Marvelous Wonderettes is initially set in 1958, and bears many similiarites to Forever Plaid. Both musicals tell the stories of harmonizing groups: girl groups in Wonderettes, boy groups in Plaid. Both groups have distinct characters, and do popular songs from the era. Plaid, however, is clear fantasy: it focuses on a group that was permitted to come back after death for one last show. The plot in Wonderettes is much stronger. The show focues on the lives and loves of the Wonderettes: Cindy Lou (Kristen Chandler*), Missy (Kim Huber*), Betty Jean (Julie Dixon Jackson*), and Suzy (Bets Malone*). Act I opens on the Wonderettes as they are the featured entertainment at the 1958 Springfield Prom. You learn about their lives, loves, and distinct personalities during the act. Act II is 10 years later, at the high school reunion. Here you learn how the story turned out, together with the power of friendship. You can get a good idea of the characters in the show by visiting the show’s MySpace account.
What did I think of the show? First, for a show using so much popular music, the plot was extremely well integrated. The actors were excellent, for they became their characters and the personalites. Part of this is because many of the actors originated the roles they were playing. I was particularly enamored with the performances of Kim Huber, Julie Dixon Jackson, and Bets Malone. I should also note that all of the actors are powerhouse singers. It was a very very good show (and had the side effect of making me forget about the headache, always a good thing). I should note that the show has been receiving great reviews.
After the show, we had the opportunity to meet lindasings, as well as all of the actors. This is always nice when it happens.
Production Credits: Roger Bean (Author/Director); David Elzer, Marvelous Dreams LLC, and Peter Schneider (Producers); Janet Miller (Choreographer); Kurt Boetcher (Scenic Design); Brian Baker (Orchestrator); Jeremy Pivnick (Lighting Designer); Sharell Martin (Costume Designer); Cricket S. Myers (Sound Designer); Pat Loeb (Production Stage Manager); Machael Sanfillippo (General Manager); Brian Svoboda (Sound Engineer); and Michael Spellman and Joseph Wisniewski (Production Assistants). I should note that both Mr. Elzer and Mr. Schneider are also involved with the upcoming Sister Act at the Pasadena Playhouse.
As always, the upcoming theatre calendar: The Musical Of Musicals, Sat 10/28 @ 3pm; A Chorus Line, Sat 11/4 @ 2pm; The Beastly Bombing, Fri, 11/10 @ 8pm; Sister Act, The Musical, 11/18 @ 9pm; and Dirk, 11/19 @ 2pm …plus I’m still working on tickets for A Light in the Piazza (11/25, 11/26, 12/2, or 12/3), and 13 (12/30). A busy theatre season coming up. Note: Those of you on my friends list that might be interested in joining us to see Dirk, which is based on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, for information, see this journal entry (which is friends-only).
*: Member of Actors Equity Association