BWW Reviews: Experience Phenomenal Musical Storytelling in JOHN & JEN at Cherry Creek Theatre

BWW Reviews:  Experience Phenomenal Musical Storytelling in JOHN & JEN at Cherry Creek Theatre

Cherry Creek Theatre Company presents JOHN & JEN (music by Andrew Lippa, lyrics by Tom Greenwald, and book by Andrew Lippa & Tom Greenwald) playing now through June 22nd. This is the story of Jen and her relationships with the two Johns of her life: her younger brother, who was killed in Vietnam, and his namesake, her son who is trying to find his way in a confusing world. JOHN & JEN is a tour-de-force for two actors, taking them from childhood, through adolescence and beyond.

"All I know is I won't fail my son the same way I failed you!"Megan Van De Hey* as Jen was radiant and tells the story with her wondrous voice. Her skilled versatility and range showed through and through in this production. Her proclamation to her late brother a about letting him go and seeing her son as a a for the first time in The Road Ends Here had the entire audience in tears. Casey Andree proved he had the acting chops in playing the diverse roles of brother and son, Jon. It Took Me A While was one of his highlights and showed his excellent singing ability. I also have to compliment these two on their professionalism and never missing a beat; even when the stormy weather outside starting to become a very noticeable puddle and small coy pond on the stage!

Director Pat Payne and Music Director Rob Lowe had to "Think Big....Aim High" when casting these complex roles and found their stunning duo in the amazing talents of Megan and Casey! They not only brought out the interpersonal relationships in these two different family dynamics, but also all explored their characters as a whole in theatrical development and musicality. I also have to praise this team on such a fluid show that spanned and time warped over several decades. Costume Designer Susan Rahmsdorff had her work cut out for her with so many scenes and time periods, but was totally up for the task. I loved the costume build for the 60's timewarp in the first act and the simple additions really transformed the characters (especially loved the surprise bell bottoms). While all of the costume were thought out and fitting, the kids robes they wore at Christmas in the first act seemed a little too mature and out of place, but I did appreciate the worn and faded look as the reappeared in act two (honestly, I just would have chosen a more childlike or brighter fabric). I adored the set by designer Tobias Harding that seemed simple in appearance, but transported the audience to every memory presented. I consisted of two large LCD screens (that gave the show that scrapbook feel), two elevated platforms, and three chests full of vintage materials. All of these elements worked harmoniously together to take the audience on the journey.

Cherry Creek Theatre does this unknown gem justice with outstanding performances that made for a tender, heartfelt and thoroughly memorable evening! JOHN & JEN is captivating audiences now through June 22nd at the Shaver-Ramsey Showroom (2414 East 3rd Ave.) in Cherry Creek. Performances are Fridays

and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 6:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, contact Cherry Creek Theatre by calling 303-800-6578 or online at www.cherrycreektheatre.org.

Rachel D. Graham - RDGPhotography

PICTURED ABOVE: Casey Andree as John and Megan Van de Hey as Jen

*Megan appears courtesy of Actors Equity Union.

high res photos

BWW Reviews:  Experience Phenomenal Musical Storytelling in JOHN & JEN at Cherry Creek Theatre
Megan Van de Hey as Jen and Casey Andree as John

BWW Reviews:  Experience Phenomenal Musical Storytelling in JOHN & JEN at Cherry Creek Theatre
Megan Van de Hey as Jen

BWW Reviews:  Experience Phenomenal Musical Storytelling in JOHN & JEN at Cherry Creek Theatre
Casey Andree as John and Megan Van de Hey as Jen

high res photos

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Michael Mulhern Michael Mulhern has lived in Denver and been active in it's theater scene for over 10 years. He is originally from Wiesbaden, Germany and graduated with a BFA in Theater Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Currently he performs in one to two shows a year and is a proud member of the Denver Gay Men's Chorus. Some of Michael's favorite performances include - Lend Me a Tenor, Guys and Dolls, The Shadow Box, Buried Child, and Jeffrey. He is proud to represent Denver and it's growing theater community on BroadwayWorld.com!


 
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