What better way to bring in the holiday season than with a musical?
Crown City is one of the few theaters in NoHo that regularly produces musicals and they are very, very good at it.
“The Marvelous Wonderettes” is another excellent production from the masters of musicals at Crown City. Set in Springfield High School, the first act is spent at the high school prom. The boys singing group, booked for the dance, has had to cancel last minute. So The Marvelous Wonderettes step in with their wonderful versions of the latest 50s hits, laced with hilarious personal interactions and stories surrounding the songs.
The girls, brilliantly portrayed by these particularly talented and fiercely authentic actresses, sing and shimmy and bicker their way through the show. They torment each other, support each other and create a world full of real moments, cleverly manipulated songs and even a bit of audience participation. We get a glimpse into these fascinating and beautifully drawn characters world and they easily charm their way into our hearts. Each character is their own perfect version of someone we remember from school and the play is written so each of them can cleverly sing their own themes. It's a brilliant way to present a story.
The second act brings us into their future, at the 10-year reunion, where the band get back together! Some have stayed in the town and some have moved on. Some have got married, one is very, very pregnant, and some are busy and happy and in love. The spectrum of life is represented in full in these four women, and as they get to know each other again through the songs and the stories, we see them as more complex and charming and their friendships deepen. All this happens to the songs of the 60s and these “marvelous” actresses manage to develop and masterfully grow Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy into friends we would all love to have.
It’s "Hairspray" meets "Happy Days" with a dash of "Little Rascals" for good luck.
I must confess to not having seen this show before, so I was delighted to have the chance and Crown City did not disappoint. "The Marvelous Wonderettes" is fun and joyful, hilarious and moving…the cast are really fantastic singers and do the songs justice, so prepare to be tapping your toes and searching for the oldies station in the car on the way home.
I highly recommend “The Marvelous Wonderettes” at Crown City Theatre.
Extends through February 25!
Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm
Crown City Theatre, 11031 Camarillo St, North Hollywood, 91602
Cindy Lou - Kelsey Boze
Missy - Amanda Walter
Betty Jean - Kate Ponzio
Suzy - Renee Cohen
Written by Roger Bean
Directed & Choreographed by Robert Marra
Musical Direction by William A Reilly
Set Design by Joanne McGee
Lighting Design/Production Manager Zad Potter
Technical Director - Gary Lamb
Technical Assistant - Lucas Dunwoody
Wardrobe by Michael Mullen
Wig Design by Amand Walter
Sound Design by Joe Shea
Art Design by AOJ Designs
House Manager - Michael Pammit
Artistic Directors - Gary Lamb and William A Reilly
Production Photographer - Spencer Sowell
Producers - Rolando Vargas and Nathalie Rudolph