Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Connecticut and the Berkshires

Regional Reviews by Zander Opper

SHOUT! The Mod Musical
Ivoryton Playhouse

Also see Fred's review of These Paper Bullets!

Monica Bradley, Tamala Baldwin, Jennifer Lorae, Bethany Fitzgerald and Mikah Horn
Having seen many musical revues (of various quality) over the years, I wasn't quite sure what to expect of SHOUT! The Mod Musical, currently playing at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, Connecticut. I am very happy to report that the show is a joy, a genuine delight from beginning to end. As created by Phillip George and David Lowenstein (with "Mod Musings" and "Groovy Gab" by Phillip George and Peter Charles Morris), this revue is set in London, roughly from the years 1963 to 1970, and employs about thirty iconic songs from that period.

One of the conceits of the production (which is wonderfully directed by Jacqueline Hubbard) is that the show focuses on five young women who are individualized by each wearing a different primary color (indeed, the program lists them as "Yellow Girl", "Green Girl", etc.) Featuring such numbers as "Downtown," "Goldfinger" and the title song, SHOUT! The Mod Musical is a pleasurable two hours of pure entertainment that should appeal to audience members who lived during the years covered by the show as well as those (like me) who were born later.

One of the nicest things about this show is that it allows each of the five performers to shine both individually and together as a group. It is lovely to note that the cast is uniformly dazzling. The feisty Tamala Baldwin (as the Yellow Girl) nearly brings down the house with a strong "Son of a Preacher Man" in act one before delivering a terrific "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" in the second half. As the Blue Girl, the sweet, funny Jennifer Lorae gets her chance in the spotlight (and out in the audience) with a saucy "Don't Sleep in the Subway" and then leads the group in a rousing "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'."

Monica Bradley is quite hilarious as the Green Girl, particularly in a splendidly staged "Goldfinger" number (complete with movements from the James Bond film) and later tears down the house with a great "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love." The Red Girl, Bethany Fitzgerald, the most delightfully "misfit" member of the cast, sparkles in a terrific "To Sir with Love" early in the show, and then ushers in the 1970s with a funky "Those Were the Days." Not to be forgotten is the pretty, perky Mikah Horn, as the Orange Girl, who sings her heart out in "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" and "All I See Is You."

In between numbers, the actresses present amusing monologues, such as the Yellow Girl's obsession with Paul McCartney, and moments when the performers ask questions of an unseen "Dear Abby" of sorts named Gwendolyn Holmes (voiced by the funny Beverly Taylor), who is featured in the "Shout" magazines that the girls read religiously. Also adding to the fun is the parade of outrageous outfits and wigs worn by the cast that help track the precise year that the show is celebrating at any given moment (Kari Crowther is the wonderful costume designer and the riotous hair and wig designs are by Joel Silvestro). In fact, just about every detail of the show, from the wild, very '60s scenic and lighting designs (by, respectively, Daniel Nischan and Marcus Abbott) to the period dances by Caitlin Sailer, feels exactly right.

Of course, any musical revue will rise or fall by the quality of its musical numbers, and, led by a swinging onstage band, just about every song is a winner, especially as put over by such a tremendously talented group of performers. Fittingly, the show ends with a combination of "Pictures of the Past" and "Downtown", followed by a roof-raising encore of the title number that literally brings the audience to its feet. So, by all means, get to SHOUT! The Mod Musical for a rollicking night of fun.

SHOUT! The Mod Musical continues performances at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, Connecticut through April 6th. For tickets, visit or call (860) 767-7318.

Photo: Anne Hudson

Also see the current theatre schedule for Connecticut & Beyond

- Zander Opper