Theatre Roundup: Week 8
It’s a week of musicals for our anonymous reviewers…
25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee – DULOG
Please spell out your opinion of DULOG’s latest theatrical offering? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Amazing.
The show offered everything I expect from a musical. The meshing of comedy together with the occasional touches of pathos was beautifully orchestrated under the watchful eye of director Simon Lynch, the simple quirky choreography nuanced the idiosyncrasies of each character perfectly, and the strong band gave the piece driving momentum. The stage lighting, meticulously designed by Dan Gosselin, really boosted the overall quality of the show and deserves special mention.
The cast as a whole did fall a little flat during the opening number, and there were occasional diction problems, which meant that some of the hilarious dialogue in the original script were lost. Nevertheless, their energy as an ensemble was nothing short of infectious and they managed to command the space exceptionally with their deeply thought-out characterisations. Clare Fenech was a particular highlight as Rona Lisa Peretti, who not only showcased her beautiful vocals to chilling effect, but sailed through her comic timing delivery. Russell Lamb also excelled as the lovable goof Leaf Coneybear, and mastered his double role as the “all-too-determined” camp parent. However, it was Maxwell Spence who stole the show with his rendition of “Magic Foot”. Simply put – he is an absolute musical genius.
On the whole, this was an excellent show and it should stand as something of which the cast and crew to be very proud.
Grease – Collingwood Woodplayers
Collingwood’s 2014 musical, Grease, was a dynamic show that had the audience singing along throughout. Their rendition featured many of the classic songs including Summer Nights, Beauty School Dropout, Greased Lighting, however disappointingly You’re the One That I Want was not included.
The vocals of the entire cast were superb, however what struck me most was Danny Zuko (Arthur Lewis) impeccable vocal range. Combined with Sandy Olsson (Clara Shephard) sweet soprano, the two voices perfectly complemented each other.
The balance between vocals and band was well matched, allowing the vocalists to make the most of the well-known songs. In addition the quality of the instrumentalists was superb with minimal errors or ‘squeaks’ from the woodwind players.
Overall, the acoustic balance of the performance was excellent and, for a college musical, I was thoroughly impressed.