Thursday, October 29, 2009

Actors' Playhouse: The Marvelous Wondrettes (2 reviews)

Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theater kicked off its 2009-2010 season with The Marvelous Wondrettes, which opened October 3rd, 2009.
Featuring favorite songs from the ‘50s and ‘60s, The Marvelous Wonderettes takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet the Wonderettes – Betty Jen, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts and voices to match!
David Arisco directs a cast that includes Amy Miller Brennan, Tiana Checchia, Julie Kleiner, and Lisa Manuli. Musical direction by Dave Nagy, sets by Sean McClelland, lighting by Patrick Tennant, and costumes by Ellis Tillman.

The Sun-Sentinel has declined to review this production.*

John LaRiviere just slips in his review under the wire; we won't mention them if they don't come out while the play is still playing. He wrote for
The production has solid production values with great choreography and set, and wonderful costuming and wigs. From start to finish, The Marvelous Wonderettes is well sung enjoyable entertainment for the whole family.
We waited a month for that? Oh, he does go on about the songs, and the script, but this is all he says about this production. At least he came out and reviewed it, unlike a lot of other reviewers.

Howard Cohen reviewed for the Miami Herald:
The Marvelous Wonderettes couldn't have found a better home than Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theater.
...director David Arisco knows his audience and courts it well with this rendition of writer Roger Bean's Off Broadway New York hit... Actors' Playhouse earns boasting rights as the first independent regional production of the musical.
...the Wonderettes ... are played with considerable charm by Carbonell-nominated Actors' Playhouse vets Amy Miller Brennan (Cindy Lou Huffington), Tiana Checchia (Suzy Simpson), Julie Kleiner (Betty Jean Reynolds) and Lisa Manuli (Missy Miller).

These talented women work overtime to push Wonderettes toward wonderful because, truth be told, the plot is as fizzy as a root beer float and the first act starts out as little more than a '50s revue of rather corny pop tunes.
As the actresses inhabit their characters' personality quirks, the song choices in this jukebox musical suddenly seem ingenious. Seldom has You Don't Own Me felt quite so momentous. These oldies wouldn't be anything more than mem'ries of scratchy old 45s were it not for the skill of the four leads who elevate this bauble skyward
The Marvelous Wonderettes is quaint but so lovingly crafted -- from the direction to the detailed set design to the performances -- only a bully would leave the theater in a bad mood.
The Marvelous Wondrettes plays at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theater through November 1, 2009.

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