The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On
Winter Park Playhouse, Winter Park, Florida
Written and created by Richard Bean
Arrangements by Michael Borth
Directed by Roy Alan
Musical Direction by Chris Leavy
Carl F. Gauze
High school reunions can bring back SO many memories, not all of which you recall fondly. It’s 1968 and 10 long years since high school, and the quartet of cool kids take to the stage to recall those award winning days of yore. The sound of the era is 1960’s pop rock, and they blast though the first half of the show looking backward to their glory days in high school and pointing out that if high school WAS your golden age, you are a very sad person. Missy (Hanna Laird) breaks out of her shell with the upbeat number “For Once in My Life,” Betty Jean (Kate Zaloumes) offers up the plaintive “When Will I Be Loved,” Suzy (Lindsey Nance) solos with “Hurting Each Other/ More Today Than Yesterday,” and Cindy Lou (Anastasia Remoundos) blasts her guy with “You’re No Good”.
A decade passes, friends come and go, but bitterness accumulates, and Act 2 sends us forward to the ’70s. We’ll ignore the passing of unfortunate fashion trend of polyester and revisit the girls. Now Missy blasts “Everything I Own.” Clearly, she’s in a great situation. Betty Jean reaches out with the anthemic “I Am Woman” followed by “I Will Survive.” We do “The Hustle” while Suzy belts “Lonely Nights.” Now Cindy Lou shines with “Band of Gold,” and the anthemic “Superstar.” So, in other words, these girls have their own lives to live, yet somehow, they still can retreat to high school days to maintain their friendships.
Yes, of course the music flies. The cast here is as good as any other show in town, and maybe better than most. While everyone has their own path to follow, it’s nostalgia here for the Baby Boomers to slip back into their own glory days. With the pandemic strictures are fading, there’s still a bar, and you can now meet and greet the cast as you leave. Party on, Roy! Party on Heather!