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Review: Stages 'Wakes Up Little Susie' in Season Opener DREAM: THE MUSIC OF THE EVERLY BROTHERS

Review: Stages 'Wakes Up Little Susie' in Season Opener DREAM: THE MUSIC OF THE EVERLY BROTHERS

The production runs until September 4th, 2022

We all have that one or two friends who know everything about a niche topic. For example, I can tell you the entire timeline of the Harry Potter books, films, and spin offs. Much to the chagrin of my friends and family whenever we discuss them I am usually the one that corrects incorrect facts and states the phrase "Um, Actually!" to their annoyance. However, unlike me, Eric Anthony and Ben Hope have created a night of musical theater that transcends and uplifts their expansive knowledge on the rock n roll duo, the Everly Brothers into an amazing night of musical theater.


Review: Stages 'Wakes Up Little Susie' in Season Opener DREAM: THE MUSIC OF THE EVERLY BROTHERS
Eric Anthony in Dream: The Music of the Everly Brothers
Photo by Melissa Taylor

Set in the "here and now" writers Eric Anthony and Ben Hope take audiences on a 2 hour journey of remembrance and nostalgia. The production begins with Anthony and Hope taking the stage and singing the popular song All I Have to do is Dream. This mega hit song prepares audiences for the remarkable singing we are to witness. Anthony and Hope have resounding voices and sing their favorite country duo songs with the utmost love and respect. Both of them are also musical theater actors, and their previous credits reveal their participation in several productions revolving around Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash. It is obvious as to why they were cast in such productions for their voices give off the perfect mixture of rock n roll and country twang. Furthermore, they are extremely talented guitar players as well. Anthony especially exhibits his guitar technical prowess with such ease and finesse the applause he reserved on opening night was more than deserved.

Review: Stages 'Wakes Up Little Susie' in Season Opener DREAM: THE MUSIC OF THE EVERLY BROTHERS
Ben Hope in Dream: The Music of the Everly Brothers
Photo by Melissa Taylor

While Dream interweaves the Everly Brothers life story with their songs, this is where there can be some minor improvement. Anthony and Hope give broad strokes about the Everly Brothers' life. Stories from their eventual rise to fame, moving record labels and their feuding, while exciting, need more vibrancy behind them. I kept hoping that they would reveal more stories from the Everly Brothers beyond what a simple google search can provide. While of course, I did, and found more stories about them, I would have loved to hear about the Everly Brother's love lives, children, and life now. For audience members who have seen Million Dollar Quartet and similar productions, Dream definitely draws inspiration from these musical theater pieces.

Review: Stages 'Wakes Up Little Susie' in Season Opener DREAM: THE MUSIC OF THE EVERLY BROTHERS
Ben Hope and Erin Anthony in Dream: The Music of the Everly Brothers
Photo by Melissa Taylor

One thing that Stages always does exceptionally well is the scenic elements of their productions. Jon Young is the scenic designer for Dream and it sure does feel as if you have stepped in a Country Music Hall. Supported by lighting designer, J. Salazar, both designers have created a lighting and technical country hall feast. I felt as if I had walked into the country saloons of New Braunfels, and Gruene, Texas.

Review: Stages 'Wakes Up Little Susie' in Season Opener DREAM: THE MUSIC OF THE EVERLY BROTHERS
Ben Hope and Eric Anthony in Dream: The Music of the Everly Brothers
Photo by Melissa Taylor

A good friend of mine came to see this production with me. I was initially apprehensive because I did not think this music would appeal to them. I grew up listening to a plethora of rockabilly musicians and other similar artists, so I knew the Everly Brothers by name, but I didn't know if my young friend would find this production worthwhile. However, after the show, they exclaimed how much they loved it. I can't emphasize enough how Anthony and Hope are exceptional musicians and it is a treat for Houston audiences to witness their musical prowess. This show is truly a great production for all ages. Whether you're already a fan of the Everly Brothers or want a great time at Stages, Dream: The Music of the Everly Brothers is well worth the price of admission.

Review: Stages 'Wakes Up Little Susie' in Season Opener DREAM: THE MUSIC OF THE EVERLY BROTHERS
Ben Hope and Eric Anthony in Dream: The Music of the Everly Brothers
Photo by Melissa Taylor

Dream: The Music of the Everly Brothers runs at Stages Gordy Theatre from July 22nd to September 22nd. Tickets can be bought by calling the Stages Box Office at 713.527.0123 or at their website at stageshouston.com. Performances times are Wednesday - Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Masks are welcome at Stages but no longer required. Proof of negative Covid-19 test or vaccination status is no longer required to enter The Gordy. Drinks are once again allowed in the theater during a performance.




From This Author - Armando Urdiales

Armando Urdiales (He/Him/His)”: A second year MS in Theatre Studies at the University of Houston, I have been obsessed with theater since I was a kid. My mothers lullabies were from Andrew Lloyd... (read more about this author)


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