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BWW Review: SOME ENCHANTED EVENING:THE SONGS OF RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN at Des Moines Playhouse

This enchanting production runs through May 9 both virtually and in person.

BWW Review: SOME ENCHANTED EVENING:THE SONGS OF RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN at Des Moines Playhouse
Matthew Nicholson
Dani Boal
Amy Burgmaier
Jake Parks
Bridget Johnston
Photo by Brent Isenberger

When Des Moines Playhouse closed their production of "Singin' in the Rain" last year, no one could have imagined what would follow. A year without a musical performance on the stage. This meant that the big productions they had planned for Summer, Fall, and Winter had to be canceled. That changed on Friday, April 9, when they opened their spring production of "Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein."

Unlike most musicals you see at the Playhouse, "Some Enchanted Evening" has a very loose story, but that is due to no dialogue throughout the show. It's a celebration of the music of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II, whose shows include "Oklahoma," South Pacific," "State Fair," "Carousel," "The King and I," and "The Sound of Music," to name a few. The evening featured a variety of their most famous songs and some of their lesser-known songs. The order of the songs chosen does give a small plot to the show without taking away focus from the beautiful and award-winning music and lyrics of Rogers and Hammerstein.

As the evening started, we see the simplistic but elegant set designed by Jay Jagrim. From the top of the show, I appreciated that he designed the set to allow for the two musicians, Fran Griffith and show director/music director Katy Herriman onstage through the entire show. Just as timeless as the music is in this show, so are the costumes designed by Angela Lampe. The costumes didn't feel like they were from a specific period but told a story as the cast went from a business casual look to elegant evening wear. All of this is beautifully tied together with the beautiful lighting of Virgil Kleinhesselink.

What makes this evening truly enchanting to the audience is the cast that takes the audience on a journey through the beautiful and award-winning music. The cast consists of 2 newcomers to the Playhouse, Matthew Nicholson and Jake Parks, and Dani Boal, Amy Burgmaier, and Bridget Ann Johnston returning to the Playhouse stage. Throughout the evening, each cast member has times where they are featured on a song or two. Sometimes as we get the youthful sound of Parks and Johnston, the warming tone of Boal, or the more classical sound of Burgmeir and Nicholson. My favorite moments of the show are when the cast comes together as an ensemble. It's in those moments where they sing the beautiful harmonies added for this show that I found the evening to be truly enchanting.

If you're tired of being stuck in the house or need an evening of beautiful music and entertainment, then Des Moines Playhouse's production of "Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein" will be the perfect fit for you. From the amazing set and costumes to the extremely talented cast, the 75-minute production will leave you truly enchanted. As typical for the current times, the Playhouse has options to attend the show in person and opportunities to stream the production through May 9. To find out more about the show, or to purchase tickets, visit Some Enchanted Evening - Des Moines Playhouse (dmplayhouse.com)

Upcoming Des Moines Playhouse Productions
"The Velveteen Rabbit"-April 16-May 2

Co-Produced with Pyramid Theatre Company
"A Love Offering"-June 4-20

Summer Tent Series
"Godspell"-July 9-August 8
"Plaza Suite"-July 16-August 1
"Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical"-July 10-August 7

Review was written by DC Felton
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From This Author DC Felton