Archikulture Digest

Everything Is Rosie!

Everything Is Rosie!

Written and performed by Wendy Hayes

Musial Direction by Chris Leavy

Winter Park Playhouse

Winter Park Orlando</strong>

From the corny “Mambo Italiano” to the heart rending “Say Goodbye” Wendy Hayes’s recreation of Rosemary Clooney captures the sound and spirit of America greatest female vocalist. Clooney came from a broken home in Kentucky and posted a string of top ten hits with CBS records under Mitch Miller’s guidance. Clooney hated the novelty aspect of his song choices, and after the requisite bout with pills and rehab, she eventually move to Concord Records and cranked out twenty well received jazz disks, starred in film, and even hosted her own TV variety show.

Hayes did extensive and tax deducible research for this one woman show, even visiting Maysville KY and interviewed Clooney’s life long friend Blanche Mae Chambers. Hayes narrative intermingles with the songs, including some the hits you know (This Ole House, Half as Much) and some more obscure tunes (I Wish I Was Back In The Army, Didn’t Do Right By Me). All deliver with Hayes’ rich voice, Chris Leavy’s skilled piano, and the ultra cool jazz drumming of Sam Forrest. It’s a chatty, gossipy story, littered with romances gone awry and the sorts of entertainment horror stories that make you wonder why anyone would choose singing as a career. Hayes begins the show in a vintage Sunday-Go-To-Meetin’ silk skirt, but returns after the intermission in a red and black lounge dress as she climbs the stairs into the audience, patting the balding heads of the guys smart enough to sit on the aisle.

“Everything Is Rosie!” is the sophomore show for the new home of WPPH. One door down from its old location, it leverages the tile floor and rotunda of the previous tenant into the spiffiest preshow space in the area. Add in a sexier bar area, the promise of frequent Cabaret show in the lobby, and additional rest room space, and something pretty cool just got better. The seating really impressed me, they upgraded from coach to first class – it’s now possible to get to off-the- aisle seats without making everyone in the row stand up, go out to the aisles and return. A tip ‘o the hat to the newest space in town!

For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, please visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org


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