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Southern Florida by John Lariviere


Waist Watchers the Musical!

The Plaza Theatre presents the musical comedy Waist Watchers The Musical!. Written by producer Alan Jacobson, the show originally premiered in October of 2007 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre under the name Food Fight! A Musical Comedy for Waist Watchers. Set in Cook's Women's Gym, the show takes a lighthearted look at four adult women dealing with assorted body image issues by using some 25 popular songs with parody lyrics—in the same vein as Menopause the Musical.

Waist Watchers The Musical! covers issues like dieting, exercise, plastic surgery, sex over the age of forty, and the relentless search for a positive self-image. Writer/producer Alan Jacobson has cleverly rewritten the lyrics to popular songs to suit the subject at hand. Included are songs such as "Botox Queen" to the tune of ABBA's "Dancing Queen," "I Hope I Lose It" to the tune of "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line, "Viagra" to the tune of "Maria" from West Side Story, and "I Feel My Butt Squeeze" to the tune of Carole King's "I Feel The Earth Move." Musical director Vic Glazer has written tight, four-part vocal harmonies that provide a fresh sound for these familiar songs. The vocal blend of the cast is rock solid, though every song is sung at the same volume—forte (loud). A little musical sensitivity would enhance the over performance. Though the music is tracked for this production, the sound is as close to live as one could hope; and all the music cues are spot on.

Scenic design by Sean McClelland and choreography by Kevin Black are effective and precise. The use of blue pilates balls in the song "Big Balls Are a Girl's Best Friend" and the costumes for "You Gotta Have Some Sugar" are surely audience pleasers. Each of the four women gets a chance to display her individual talents. Katie Angell Thomas as sexy fitness instructor Carla has enjoyable quirks, such as her secret passion for chocolate and not-so-secret passion for younger men. She shows her ability to comfortably flirt with the audience more than once, and is at her best in the song "I'm a Cougar" sung to the tune of "I'm a Woman." Jeanne Bennett is pleasant as Cheryl, but needs to show more facial expression while singing. Her best number is "If I Had a Bagel" sung to the tune of "If I Had a Hammer." A pretty Shelley Keelor as Cindy has great energy and the best pop voice in the cast. Her character is the one left most unexplored however, so one feels she is short changed as an actress by the script.

The two best solo moments of the production both belong to Missy McArdle, who steals the show with her comedic "If I Were a Size Two" sung to the tune of "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler On The Roof, and a belted and brassy "I'm Fat and I'm O.K." to the tune of "Don't Rain on My Parade" from Funny Girl. She clearly emerges as the audience favorite in this entertaining musical excursion at the Plaza Theatre.

This production of Waist Watchers The Musical! will be appearing at the Plaza Theatre through May 12, 2013. The Plaza Theatre is located at 262 S. Ocean Blvd in the Plaza Del Mar in Manalapan. The Plaza Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit 250-seat theatre, hiring local and non-local Equity and non-Equity actors and actresses. It is home to a variety of light-hearted shows, with an occasional gripping drama. For more information, please call 561-588-1820 or visit www.theplazatheatre.net.

Cast:
Cheryl: Jeanne Bennett*
Carla: Katie Angell Thomas
Connie: Missy McArdle
Cindy: Shelley Keelor*

Crew:
Director: Andrew Rogow+
Music Director/Arranger: Vic Glazer
Choreography: Kevin Black
Scenic Design: Sean McClelland
Lighting Design: Glen Rovinelli
Costume Design: Jerry Sturdefant
Stage Manager: Martine Perry

*Indicates member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

+Designates a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.


See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere



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