The Marvellous Wonderettes – Caps and Gowns!
The de Villars Jones LLP Stage at Holy Trinity Anglican Church
3 1/2 Stars
“That sure brought me back to high school,” said a silver-haired man as theatre-goers exited from The Marvellous Wonderettes – Caps and Gowns!
In this musical revue, playwright Roger Bean flips back to the 1958 Springfield High graduation where four teenage girls provide entertainment at the senior prom. As they sing and dance to popular 50s and 60s chart makers, tensions between Cindy Lou (Ruth Wong-Miller) and Betty Jean (Stephanie Bent) develop over a boy. Suzy (Joyanne Rudiak) and Missy (Christina O’Dell) referee while spilling secrets about their crushes.
Betty Jean is the class clown who is always vying for attention from her best friend Cindy Lou. Meanwhile, Cindy Lou is the prettiest girl but with a crabby personality. Missy is the over-achiever, and Suzy is the happy-go-lucky ditz.
The singers portray the girls’ final days at school with a natural exuberance built into songs such as Rock Around the Clock, Rock and Roll Waltz, Mr. Touchdown, Personality and Dedicated to the One I Love. The blended harmonies create a delightful, nostalgic aura as the girls reveal all their accomplishments from the past year.
This 60-minute revue is more than a string of gold standards. A great deal of thought has gone into it ranging from vibrant costumes and portable set pieces to easy-on-the-eyes blocking and choreographed moves.
The storyline is a bit thin, however The Marvellous Wonderettes conjures up nostalgic images and snappy moments.
– Anna Borowiecki