Mac-Haydn Ends the Season Serving up a Stage filled with Froth, Fun and Song
The Marvelous Wonderettes, another jukebox musical, rounds out a near-perfect season at Mac-Haydn Theatre. Set in the gymnasium of Springfield High School, the class of 1958 is celebrating their senior prom. The boys’ glee club was supposed to perform, but alas, their lead singer has been suspended from school so the girls’ group, the quartet, The Wonderettes, fill in. The storyline acts simply as the glue to hold together, in some semblance of plot relevance, the reason for the musical numbers. What becomes memorable are the fabulous harmonies these four ladies put forth as they present over two dozen numbers from the classic 50’s and 60’s rock songbook.
Director and choreographer Ashley DeLane Burger once again puts her cast through its paces. Their dancing is all beautifully in sync, perfect for the time period, and never so over the top so as to be not believable as to have been performed by a group of high school seniors. Annie Watson nails it with her perfect costumes, capturing the essence of the 50s and, in the second act, at their 10th reunion, the late 60’s. From crinoline petticoats to drop-wasted miniskirts, their clothes could have come right out of their closets and been right at home. Emily Allen’s hair and wig designs complement their costumes. All of this is shown off by Andrew Gmoser’s lighting, Sean McGinley’s sound, and Paul Colarusso and John Saunder’s delightful scenic design.
As always, Eric Shorey’s music direction leads the ladies and the musicians through a fun-filled trip down memory lane with wonderful recreations of the music of the times.
All of the technical is great, but it only holds up if the talent on the stage is able to support all that it is given to work with. Once again, this season, Mac-Haydn proves that they have a vault overflowing with talent. Stephanie Prestage, Cindy Lou, the tough girl with some questionable morals, does a wonderful job with Son of a Preacher Man and Leader of the Pack. Adeline Trivers Betty Jean does a great job with Lipstick on Your Collar, and It’s My Party.
It is tough to single out a performer or two when you have only a cast of four, but Cydney Gleckner as Suzy and Rachel Pantazis as Missy are just that much more outstanding in an already outstanding cast. Gleckner leads a rousing Stupid Cupid, and Pantazis steals the trophy for her renditions of Secret Love, It’s in His Kiss/Wedding Bell Blues Medley, and You Don’t Own Me. The four are a perfect blend musically. They are all on stage virtually the entire show. They all back up one another, and when they sing as a group with Mr. Sandman, Allegheny Moon, and Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, they hold the audience in the palms of their collective hands.
The Marvelous Wonderettes actually does have a storyline that connects in logical order the majority of the numbers that are performed. As actors, the four deliver their lines with very credible amounts of believability, sincerity, and drama whenever called for.
Mac-Haydn has chosen to wind up their amazingly successful season on a light note. It is a great way to have the audience walk out the door humming and singing familiar melodies and wondering what this venerable summer stock company has in store for next season that will top this year’s.
Regrettably, based upon Mac-Haydn’s website, due to COVID cases within the production team, all remaining performances of The Marvelous Wonderettes have been canceled for more information, call 518-3929-9292.