The Marvelous Wonderettes certainly lived up to its name of being marvellous. This musical written by Roger Bean is simple yet effective beyond your expectations. I wasn't sure what to expect and wondered how four singers could pull off a full-length show with a basic, although beautifully decorated, set, a few props and only two costume changes. After the show, I heard a group of young people, who may not have been familiar with most of the songs of the 50s and 60s, comment that they thought the same thing but were pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed the show.
The Marvelous Wonderettes is about a friendship between four high school singers. It's 1958 and The Marvelous Wonderettes are hosting their prom night and at the same time competing for the Prom Queen title, which will be announced at the end of the night, based on their musical performances. Tension rises between two of the girls as the story unfolds that one of them has her eye on the other one's boyfriend. Their stories are cleverly told through song choices that reflect their personal behind the scenes stories, with a little bit of commentary in between. The second act jumps forward to their 1968 reunion where they band together again as The Marvelous Wonderettes and sing their way through their life stories of love, heartbreak, and the bond of female friendship that gets them through life's ups and downs.
Olivia Chilvers-French plays Missy, the goody-two-shoes perfectionist who is good at organising and smoothing things out with the band members. Her bubbly personality and endearing facial expressions were a treat to watch. Rachel Love plays Suzy, the ditsy, lovable girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. Amber Rosalie plays Betty-Jean, the sensitive rebel who feels overshadowed by Cindy Lou, played by Dana White. Cindy Lou is the sultry girl who all the boys want to date. Four different personalities who together are The Marvelous Wonderettes.
The simplicity of the set and props ensures you focus all your attention on the four beautiful young women who took a little while to warm up but once they felt the audience's appreciation began to belt out numbers like the Marvelous Wonderettes they were. There was a definite shift in the performance once they loosened up and began to sing with emotion. The response from the audience came as loud applause.
Director, Katie Grace is to be commended on her brilliant casting. Her cast are not only exceptional singers, but they are also beautiful, and gifted actresses who gave their characters unique personalities that were charming to watch. Katie is also multi-talented with experience in singing, directing, writing and producing, so it's no wonder The Marvelous Wonderettes was such a pleasure to watch and appeared to run without a hitch. The lighting was effective without being intrusive, and the sound was clear and on point.
The Marvelous Wonderettes is a beautiful showcase of Gold Coast talent that is sure to win you over. It was a pleasant surprise and well worth seeing. There's a long list of songs you'll be treated to such as, All I Have to Do Is Dream, Dream Lover, Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight, It's in His Kiss, It's My Party, Leader of the Pack, Respect, Secret Love, Son of a Preacher Man, and You Don't Own Me. A word of warning to young men who attend the show; you may end up married to one of the Marvelous Wonderettes in a rather public ceremony. Wear some nice threads, just in case.
Spotlight Theatre is set up in dinner theatre style allowing you to sit at a table and enjoy a drink and snack while being entertained. It is a licensed venue offering a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and even a blanket to wrap around yourself if you find yourself getting chilly in the theatre.
Reviewed on the 21st of September 2018 by Jacquelin Melilli Image courtesy of Vargo Studios
Director Katie Grace Music Director Shari Ward Choreographer Erin Brummage
Missy Olivia Chilvers-French Suzy Rachel Love Betty-Jean Amber Rosalie Cindy Lou Dana White