The pop music of the ’50s and ’60s will be flowing from Playhouse in the Park’s theater doors this weekend as they bring back a loved show for one final run.
“The Marvelous Wonderettes,” a comedic musical, will be performed today and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday, January 20th at 2:30 p.m. at Playhouse in the Park in Murray/Calloway Central Park.
The show, an exact replica of last season’s performance, was brought back for two weekends, and this weekend is the last chance to see it.
“We did this show last January,” Lisa Cope, “The Marvelous Wonderetters” director, said. “Often after a show ends, people will ask us about doing it again, but that usually dies out after a few weeks. In this case, for the entire year, people have asked us to bring Marvelous Wonderettes back. And, we had such a fabulous time doing it the first time, we were glad to do it!”
The last time the Wonderettes sang their way around the Playhouse stage, the show’s planned two-weekend run transformed into three weekends of sold out shows and satisfied audience members.
The success of the show and the talent of the cast led to the Playhouse programming committee placing the exact same show on the show list for this year, and that meant the same cast and crew.
“When I called the cast and the band, every single person immediately (agreed),” Cope said. “When the programming committee was considering the recommendation to bring the show back for this year, that was one of my stipulations. I was only interested in doing it again if it could be the same group as before. I was thrilled when they were all interested in the reunion.”
Cope said the show is a great time for any audience member because the set, costumes, script and, of course, the musical selections are enjoyable and completely engaging.
Between the live combination and the distinct song selection, this show’s tunes have been a highlight of the process for Cope.
“I love the music,” Cope said. “It’s fun, the harmonies are tight, and the addition of the combo just kicks it up a notch. It was such a pleasure to work on this show because the girls had such a good time together.”
Not only did the small, all female cast have a great time working on the music together, but they connected quickly with their characters and each other.
“One of the magical things that happens in theater is when you feel that a show is perfectly cast,” Cope said. “That’s what happened with this cast. Each character has a very distinct personality and our actresses have done a fabulous job of finding that. This was an easy show to work on because the girls truly enjoyed being together and they all worked so hard. I guess the most difficult part was learning all of the music and getting the distinctive sound of it just right. The music, particularly the ’50s set, sounds deceptively simple, but those tight harmonies are tricky!”
With more than 25 songs in the show, the cast began working on music together for several weeks before they added any other theatrical elements. Cope, a fan of the musical elements, especially enjoyed piecing the songs together with the rest of the production.
Cope said, “I love the process. As you add each element and see it all coming together, that is exciting to me. And this show is just so much fun that the whole thing was a pleasure. I think for this one, beyond working on the music, which was so much fun, I loved adding the costumes. They are so distinctive for (the ’50s and ’60s).”
Finding costumes for the show was, as expected, a blast for Cope. Even more fun was the chance to hear the tales of the 1950s and 1960s generation after the show brought the memories rushing to the forefront of their minds.
“We had sort of anticipated that generation would like the show,” Cope said. “What we didn’t expect is how much every single age group loved it! Young kids, high schoolers, and college students – both male and female – really loved this show. It was a different world in the 1950s and 1960s, and the music gives us a glimpse of that. It’s a fun kind of history lesson.”
Tickets for “The Marvelous Wonderettes” can be purchased at the door or by calling the box office (270-759-1752). Tickets cost $8 for children (12 and under), $9 for students, $10 for seniors, and $11 for adults. For 10 or more, groups get a $2 per ticket discount.
Story by Maddie Mucci, Staff writer.