BWW Review: Swingin' with Winter Park Playhouse's ALL HANDS ON DECK
1942 - it was the time of the big band, war bonds for the troops, and radio. Winter Park Playhouse's ALL HANDS ON DECK transports the audience back to that time with classic tunes, hilarious jokes, and so much more. Based on Bob Hope's 1942 USO tour during World War II, this roadshow turned radio show for the troops has stopped in Winter Park, Florida for the evening! Featuring Rebecca Jo Cross as Betty Blake, Kayla Kelsay Morales as Daisy Maxwell, Todd. S Mummert as Ted Crosley, and Joshua S. Roth as John Handley, this fun musical had the audience dancing and singing along in their seats and each member of the cast brought a different feel to the show.
Cross' Betty Blake reminded me of a Marilyn Monroe type character - her sultry attitude and crooning matched her personality on stage perfectly, and her comedic timing was spot on. Morales' Daisy Maxwell was sweet and wholesome - the kind of girl any soldier would want to come home to. While sweet on the outside, her voice packed a powerful punch that was light and airy when it needed to be, but strong during more serious love songs. Roth's John Maxwell seemed to have the perfect smile and a beautiful voice to match! While everyone in the show is younger, Roth brought a much-needed youthfulness to the show that truly made the audience connect to many of the young-lover and young-recruit type songs. The showstopper of the evening however was undoubtedly Mummert's Ted Crosley. His witty and playful nature during the show made me look forward to every one of his numbers, and his soulful voice made him a delight to watch.
While the show is less of a play and more of a 1940s musical review, the back and forth from the cast and the delightful music made for a fun evening of theater. Featuring songs such as "Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe", "Pennsylvania Polka", "Don't Fence Me In" and more (many in four-part harmony!), ALL HANDS ON DECK is a fantastic show that's not to be missed! The show runs now through October 9 at Winter Park Playhouse and you can purchase your tickets here.
So, did you think ALL HANDS ON DECK was as killer diller as I did? If so, make sure to purchase a few war bonds... or maybe head on over to my Twitter feed @libbychamps to let me know! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Don't forget to follow BWW Orlando on Facebook and Twitter by clicking below!