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The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns

a Musical Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Roger Bean

COMPANY : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : ART Station Theatre [WEBSITE]
ID# 4608

SHOWING : July 10, 2014 - July 27, 2014

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns" takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School graduation where we meet the “Wonderettes,” a four girl singing group with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! Join Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy as they celebrate graduation with their fellow classmates and teachers and prepare for their next step towards a bright future. Act Two zooms ahead to 1968, where the girls perform as bride and bridesmaids to celebrate Missy’s marriage to Mr. Lee! Featuring “Rock Around the Clock,” “At the Hop,” “Dancing in the Street,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” and 25 more hits, Wonderetes: Caps and Gowns will have you cheering for more! You will never have so much fun on this musical trip down memory lane.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director/Choreographer Karen Beyer
Music Director Patrick Hutchinson
Suzy Alana Cheshire
Missy Laura Floyd
Cindy Lou Lisa Manuli
Betty Jean Tania Yegelwel
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Mortarboards and Bridal Gowns
by playgoer
Friday, July 25, 2014
4.0
"The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns" extends the "Marvelous Wonderettes" franchise by having the quartet graduate from high school (in 1958) and then reunite ten years later for Missy’s wedding. The plot isn’t the draw, though; it’s the songs and the interaction of the girls with each other and with the audience. This makes for a thoroughly enjoying evening of entertainment.

Michael Hidalgo’s set uses a central platform with appropriate accoutrements as set decoration. For act one, it’s drapes in the school colors (scarlet and gold) and balloons. For act two, it’s columns and white drapery for the wedding. It’s sufficiently attractive and extremely functional. Jeanne Fore’s costume design gives a color to each of the girls (pink for Suzy; yellow for Missy; green for Betty Jean; blue for Cindy Lou), and their costumes for the two acts use those colors with appropriate Butterick patterns. Earrings and shoes match, and the wigs look pretty terrific, as does the makeup. In a small venue like ART Station, details count. Here, the details are right.

The musical accompaniment by Patrick Hutchinson, Chris Gravely, and Dik Holland is fine and always keeps to the background (literally and figuratively). It’s the solos and harmonies of the girls that take center stage. And all the voices are pretty darn good. The blend isn’t always what it could be, with only Tania Yegelwel’s lower harmony lines blending seamlessly with the other voices at all times, but the solos are all winningly performed. Even when the harmonies are a little too evident, they’re thoroughly in tune. Choreography by Karen Beyer, the director, is jaunty and well-performed, adding just the right touch to the many numbers.

All the cast members interact beautifully with the audience, and the interactions of the clearly delineated characters work just as well. Laura Floyd plays Missy as a modestly self-possessed star student, while Lisa Manuli (a decade older than the others, it appears) plays a man-hungry boyfriend stealer. Tania Yegelwel is a cut-up with bad taste in men, and Alana Cheshire is an endearingly dim-witted sweetheart, given the best of the lines and the bits. (Her smile, curtsey, and "thank you" at the end of each act one number -- whether her number or a solo for another character -- never fails to please.) The show is a joy to experience.

Karen Beyer has put together a frothy summer entertainment that is wowing audiences at ART Station. The ending is a bit abrupt, and the curtain call is far too short for the sustained applause the audience gives the cast members. When that’s the worst thing that can be said, you know the show is pretty darn-tootin’ good! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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