Regional Reviews: Florida - West Coast
Also see Bill's review of Theophilus North
A standard issue jukebox musical saluting light rock from the 1960s and incorporating information about the era via news articles from a popular magazine called Shout, beloved by our girls, this should be a show that leaves me cold. But somehow, with a sensational cast and a director/choreographer, Brian Finnerty, who time and again demonstrates his abilities to tailor his dances to the abilities of his cast, I let the shear singability of these songs carry me away.
Alyssa Goudy as Orange, Lexi Lowther as Red, Noelia Altamirano as Yellow, Amanda Heisey as Green, and Melissa Ingrisano as Blue form the onstage cast. In a running theme, Georgina Willmott is the offstage voice of Gwendolyn Holmes, an advice columnist. The energy on the stage is electric, and each and every one of the ladies has a fabulous voice. Hearing them tear into these songs is joyful. A couple of the highlights are: Lexi soloing on "To Sir with Love"; Amanda bringing her inner Shirley Bassey front and center with "Coldfinger," a parody on the original; Noelia knocking "Son of a Preacher Man" right into orbit; and a duet of "Georgie Girl" and "Windy" shared by Alyssa and Melissa. The truth is the show is pretty much one highlight after another.
Finnerty does a stand-out job, as the cast all dance their hearts out and look terrific doing so. He is rapidly making his way to the top echelons of area director/choreographers.
Music director Debbi White gets outstanding vocals from her cast, singing to tracks. The set design by Jeffrey Weber is a hodge-podge, but the flats are straight out of the era, mod-psychedelic. Tim Beltley's costume designs on a budget show off that bygone era and serve as a reminder of how ugly we dressed. Ethan Vail contributes lighting design that changes up the look for the various songs.
Shout! The Mod Musical by dint of a fantastic cast and sure-handed direction and choreography should be a big hit for the Summer Sizzler series.
Shout! The Mod Musical, through July 21, 2019, at The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota FL. Box Office: 941-365-2494. For more information visit www.theplayers.org.