From ruffles and crinolines to feathers and lamé, the Marvelous Wonderettes sing and dance their hearts out to the hits of the golden 1950s and 1960s. As a delightful musical review shaped into a nostalgic musical comedy, The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Village Playhouse is sweet and funny and reminds audiences of all ages how some things never go out of style.
Set in the decorated school gymnasium, where table tennis is considered a sport, a four-piece band accompanies the harmonious quartet, Cindy Lou (Lara Allred), Suzy (Caroline Boegel), Missy (Jenna Brinson), and Betty Jean (Emily Wilhoit), as they entertain at their senior prom in 1958. Each girl also competes, along with the absent Judy Carter and her mole, for the title of Queen of Your Dreams. Amidst the personal rivalries and youthful romances, the quartet revives classic songs such as "Mr. Sandman," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," and "Secret Love."
Ten years later at their high school reunion, a little bit older and wiser, the four best friends catch up on each other's lives through 1960s hits such as "It's In His Kiss," It's My Party," and "Respect."
Director Keely Enright maximizes the gifts of each actress. Each Wonderette is a talented singer with a distinctive style and comedic knack. The song selection is evenly distributed to accentuate each singer's voice and develop character as the plot advances. Competitive Betty Jean (B.J.) and poised Cindy Lou vie for the crown, as well as B.J.'s boyfriend, Johnny. Ditzy Suzy is sweet on Ritchie, the lighting technician at the prom. Take-charge Missy swoons over their teacher, Mr. Lee, an unsuspecting audience member.
Musical director and band leader, Alex Hennessey, smoothly blends the four voices while keeping the band impeccably tight. All four singers are strong and showcase their talents with the score. Jenna Brinson especially delivers a wallop of a performance with her soulful voice growing fuller as the songs become bluesier. The period choreography complements the score and allows the girls their individuality.
The colorful costumes add energy to the production. Each Wonderette is decked out in her signature color with soft layers of tulle and lace ruffles in the '50s and rockin' lamé, feathers, and knee-high boots in the '60s. Except for Cindy Lou's natural blonde locks, the hairstyles garner good-natured snickers and recall the days of tease combs and hairspray.