BWW Review: BEAT BUGS at Pantochino Productions
On Friday, October 19, I had the pleasure of seeing BEAT BUGS produced by Pantochino Productions at the Milford Arts Council in Milford, CT. This musical is influenced by the Netflix series "Beat Bugs," created by Josh Wakely. The musical is written by Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti using music that was written and made famous by the Beatles.
It is great to see a musical that is family friendly, appropriate for all ages, entertaining to a myriad of age groups, and that successfully draws an audience comprised of a diverse age demographic, from young children to senior citizens, all of whom enjoyed the show.
As a Beatles fan, I found this musical to be brilliant. There are constant references to Beatles songs and lyrics throughout the dialogue. The song "Good Day Sunshine," is juxtaposed with "I'm So Tired," two characters singing back and forth, illustrating the two polar opposite attitudes that people may have in the early morning. This show also does a great job combining "Hello Goodbye," with "We Can Work it Out," with "We Can Work It Out," being the earliest Beatles song appearing in the show, but with dialogue references to lyrics from earlier songs "Any Time At All," and "Ticket To Ride."
The primary storyline is that a stink bug named Mr. Mustard is trying to destroy Strawberry Fields, by putting up a factory that would pollute the area, in its place. The other bugs want to stop this from happening and plan to perform a concern to gain support for their cause to protect and preserve Strawberry Fields, forever.
The acting is excellent all around, including from cast members who are double or even triple cast. Barret Crowder, Gian Raffaele DiConstanza, David Katz, Ariana Morales, and Sydney Maher play the core group of central protagonists, a likeable bunch of characters performed by a talented cast. Jimmy Johansmeyer plays a convincing villain as Mr. Mustard. Mary Mannix, Don Poggio, Shelley Marsh Poggio, Anna Hicks, and Michael Battista play supporting roles that enhance the production tremendously. Justin Rugg steals the show, both as Sgt. Pepper with a strong British accent and as Joe Cockeroach with a strong Joe Cocker voice and mannerisms. The entire cast clearly enjoys their roles, has great stage chemistry, and radiates positive energy that flows throughout the audience.
This was my first time seeing a Pantochino Production, and I hope to see many more. They clearly have something special, and it was truly a delight to see this show. I highly recommend BEAT BUGS which is scheduled to continue to run by Pantochino Productions at the Milford Arts Council in Milford, CT, through October 28, 2018. For times and tickets, please go to https://www.showclix.com/events/pantochino/tag.