The Marvelous Wonderettes offer an entertaining trip back in time 

Pitch-Perfect

With a live band tucked gingerly into a corner upstage, the Village Playhouse’s The Marvelous Wonderettes reaches into the past with its program of catchy 1950s songs — favorites like “Mr. Sandman,” “Lollipop,” and “Stupid Cupid.” But once the four leading ladies burst onto the stage of their high school gymnasium in their monochrome green, pink, orange, and yellow taffeta prom dresses, exuding the giggling nervous energy typical of would-be prom queen candidates of their decade, it all comes together in an organic and endearing way.

The show’s director and choreographer Keely Enright should be applauded for crafting loveable characters, comedic beats, and a clear back story for each song, topped off with cutesy choreography and creative props like bubbles, a skip-it (remember those?) and sunglasses.

The enthusiastic leading ladies, Cindy Lou Huffington (played by Lara Allred), Missy Miller (Jenna Brinson), Suzy Simpson (Caroline Boegel), and Betty Jean Reynolds (Amber Mann), bring their own quirks to the show and create the dynamics necessary to keep its momentum. The girls have taken over prom night entertainment since the scheduled Crooning Crabcakes Glee Club was cancelled when the lead singer was caught smoking. “Don’t be a butthead!” Suzy admonishes the audience.

With each song, relationships unfold as a dream catcher is employed to determine the order in which the girls will sing. High-spirited Betty Jean, not as ladylike as the other girls, does anything to snatch the spotlight from her pretty, self-absorbed “best friend” Cindy Lou. Cindy has been caught smooching Betty’s boyfriend Johnny, hence songs like “Lipstick on your Collar” and Cindy Lou’s flirty rendition of “Lucky Lips.” Betty’s stage presence may be the strongest with her awkward attempts at grace and hilarious improv (“He went to Jarrod’s!”).

When it’s nerdy, by-the-book Missy’s turn to sing (and she may have the strongest vocals of the four) she starts off with “Secret Love,” shyly segueing into “Born too Late” and “Teacher’s Pet,” pulling her teacher and the apple of her eye Mr. Lee (read: unknowing audience member) up onstage to the delight of the rest of the crowd. Suzy, with her high-pitched nasal voice, completes the quartet with her bubbly squeals of delight and bubble-gum chewing habit.

The women’s vocals were surprisingly strong as they belted out “Rescue Me,” “Respect,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “You Don’t Own Me.” Classic one-liners like “You are cruisin’ for a bruisin’!” and “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!” kept the audience laughing and engaged throughout with the night.


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