BWW Review: DO BLACK PATENT LEATHER SHOES REALLY REFLECT UP? at Alhambra Theatre And Dining
Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? has opened at the Alhambra in Jacksonville. The show follows a group of eight students who grow up in catholic school. The audience will experience a show that has many elements they can relate to, such as elementary school crushes, being picked on, dating in high school, or prom catastrophes.
Do Black Patent Leather Shows Really Reflect Up? is broken up between elementary school and high school. Act 1 follows the students through their elementary school days. The opening number "Get Ready, Eddie" set up the show spectacularly. The choreography revealed to the audience that Eddie Ryan, played by Rodney Holmes, goes back in time to his elementary school days at St. Bastion's School. The props were fantastic, also. The desks the students sit at are huge to indicate the students are very young and the desks become smaller as the students grow. This idea was great to help guide the audience as they watch adult actors play five- or six-years old. All of the actors did a tremendous job playing young students. Molly Anne Ross, who portrayed Mary Kinney, was very relatable. She played the know-it-all, teacher's pet that every student has experienced at least once in their school days. Her character was also considered popular and led her friends Nancy Rolansky (Victoria Elizabeth) and Virginia Lear (Lindsay Nantz) in making fun of the chubby outcast, Becky Barkowski (Anabelle Fox). Fox played Becky Barkowski perfectly. Audiences can relate to her experiences of feeling picked on or made fun of, and sometimes feeling like an outcast. She finds a friend in Eddie Ryan and develops a little crush on him, and Eddie on her. Holmes played Eddie Ryan so sweet and innocent like. Eddie's little posse was hysterical, as well. Felix Lindor (Jake Delaney) was the inappropriate young kid that is always making jokes and goofing off in class. Louie Shlang (Douglas Waterbury-Tieman) was a fun part of the show as the clueless and shy student in class. Mike Depki (Joey Swift) was the student whose older brother knows everything, and he tells his friends everything he has learned, even if it is not completely true. I was very impresses with all the actor's abilities to play such young children.
Act 2 presents the students in high school. The boys and girls were split into all girls and all boys' catholic high schools. The audience viewed the after-school activities more than the classroom settings. The first number at a high school dance mixer showed the pressure of school dances. However, they all paired up and had great chemistry with each other. The choreography of this number was fantastic. The act continued by following Becky, who has transformed into a thin, pretty high schooler, and Eddie as they go on a date. The audience watched as the characters struggle to identify their relationship and lead into the number "Friends, Best of", or the polite way of saying friend-zone. Holmes portrayed Eddie as a little cocky and arrogant when he is friend-zoned, but really has strong feelings for Becky and is trying to play it cool. In the end, the characters' lives worked out as they should, and they end with a spectacular number, "Thank God" celebrating that their lives it did not end any other way.
Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? Find out for yourself at the Alhambra Theatre and Dining, September 12-October 7.