Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New York, Spring 2009 -- Day Six "The Marvelous Wonderettes"

Not quite. More like "The Perfectly Adequate Wonderettes." This cute, but ultimately insubstantial, offering at the Westside Theater is perfect for your aunt or grandmother looking to relive high school days in the 50s or 60s. Or, for young teens and tweens who will love the pop music, colorful costumes and silly humor.

"The Marvelous Wonderettes" is split into two acts. In the first, these four high school girls (Betty Jean, Missy, Cindy Lou and Suzy) are performing at their senior prom, singing the hits of the day -- "Sincerely," "Lollipop," "It's My Party" etc. Then, after the intermission, the show fast forwards to their 10-year reunion -- of both the group and their class. The songbook also shifts to the 60s -- "Respect," "Wedding Bell Blues," "Rescue Me," etc. The show is 90% singing -- which is great, because these four women have terrific voices -- and 10% the story of the girls' ups and downs in love.

It's the story that brings "The Marvelous Wonderettes" down. I liked the performers, but it's not much of a story, the characters aren't terribly well-developed and there are very few good lines.

As I said, not marvelous, but adequate.

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