This One’s for The Girls
Valencia College Theater
(Formerly known as “Respect”)
By Dorothy Marcic
With Alyssa Dowling, Daniel Cordero Diaz, Saige Love, and Mary Grace Meyer
Directed by John DiDonna
Musical Direction by Pari Sayers
Choreography by Dion Leonard DiDonna
This show came around a while ago under a different title, and the author has honed and re-polished it to give us these evenings swinging, sing history revue. This four-hander explores the past century of women rights through the medium of contemporary pop music. The show takes a fast-paced look at the place of women in society since the early rumblings of Lily Langtry up through Hillary Clinton’s recent run for office. There may be over 100 tunes here, many chopped down to a few bars to give you the idea before the show rushes on to the next tune. And they are all high energy hits, from Helen Reddy’s “I AM Woman” to Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walking” to Aretha’s “Respect.” Solos and ensemble pieces ebb and flow, and digital back drop effects give you something to look at when the high energy music isn’t enough.
There’s a ton of music to get through, and while we hear some prewar tunes, this show kicks into high gear when it hits the 1950’s. While race rights were big, so was the beginning of the modern Feminist Movement. And while we must learn some facts and events, the emphasis here always turns back to the songs. I felt the best material came out of the 1970’s; this otherwise lack luster era of gas shortages and polyester did have some wonderful feminist anthems. You remember polyester: hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and uncomfortable year-round. But we gloss over that and land in today’s hot bed of “Me, Too” and instant video access. The plot is a struggle for liberation, and it’s not over when the music stops. And our cast looks ready to go out and commit social action, just as soon as the applause dies down.