Shout! The Mod Musical

Shout! The Mod Musical

Shout! The Mod Musical
By Phillip George, David Lowenstein, and Peter Charles Morris
Directed and Choreographed by Roy Alan
Musical Direction by Chris Leavy
With Heather Alexander, Kate Zaloumes, Jill Vanderoef, Sarah-Lee Dobbs and Natalie Cordone
Winter Park Play House, Winter Park FL

Gosh, those 60’s girls all sure looked cute in their miniskirts and ironed hair and general disregard for the morality of their elders. This show is technically a re-run (it was done a few years ago with a nearly identical cast) but it’s so exciting I never once thought “Oh, I know what’s coming next.” We start out in 1964, the Beatles are hot, Carnaby Street is hot, Britain had recovered from the war and things were popping. Music and fashion set the tone, transistor radios were cheap and portable and songs were short and upbeat. Youth was the product, and it was undifferentiated to the point of not even giving these talented gals on stage names. Instead, they are color coded for your convenience: “Ooh, the Green one looks saucy; I’ll have some of that with a bit of Blue on the side, thank you very much.”

I won’t run through the song list, there’s every hit you want to hear from “England Swings” through “Those Were the Days”. They even set the lyric “Va-Va-Vagina” to a James Bond theme; I suspected that’s how they wrote Bond’s music and later they toned down the lyrics for the theater release. Unlike many period reviews, time passes on this stage and the cast matures. We end up in 1970 with a taste of hippie in the air: the fun is over, the drugs are harder, and the woman have grown into marriages and careers and are fixing problems created by free love and cheap booze.

Musically, the house band of Leavy, Forrest and Wilkins provides a huge sound although Mr. Multi-Instrumentalist Wilkinson has moved some of his instrument collection to a synthetic key board. It’s probably easier for him to load in but it’s not as much fun as waiting him fumble with a flute and slap bass at the same time. No matter what fate lies ahead for these women, this party was a total blast while it lasted. You enter with pop tunes stars in your eyes but you leave with a notion of growth and regret. And they even let you sing along. On ONE song. At the very end. So enjoy it while you can.

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