BWW Review: Songs of The Beatles Make BEAT BUGS a Family Must-See at Coterie Theatre
From strawberry fields to Bug Stock BEAT BUGS to quote Crick is, "A truly magical place." BEAT BUGS a musical inspired by songs from the Beatles is now playing at The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City. BEAT BUGS directed by Producing Artistic Director Jeff Church with musical direction by Anthony T. Edwards is based on the Netflix original series, "Beat Bugs". The musical was created by Josh Wakely and written by Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti.
Though written for younger audiences and families the adults will find it humorous and entertaining. Much of the references will be appreciated more by the adults than the children in the audience. The remarks will be recognized by parents as they refer to times and things that the children haven't experienced or had direct contact with. Through song, five pals tell the story of friendship and community.
Steven Eubank plays Walter the slug who is trying to put together a community show to save the strawberry fields they have discovered and love. It is always a delight to watch Eubanks perform and he is perfect for this part using his vocal talents, dance, and facial expressions to relay the message of the story. This is Eubanks fourteenth appearance at The Coterie having appeared in A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, and SHREK THE MUSICAL among others.
Phil Newman wonderfully plays the bugs antagonist Mean Mr. Mustard. He has previously performed with the touring company of PRESIDENTS and recently appeared in SHOWBOAT at Musical Theater Heritage also located at Crown Center. Mandy Morris, Newman's real-life wife, plays Prudence Mean Mr. Mustard's assistant and a member of Sgt. Peppers band. Having seen Mandy perform several times and I have grown to expect only the best and she does not fail to deliver in BEAT BUGS.
Roan Ricker plays Jay and is the Resident Artist at The Coterie for this season and was last seen in MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS. Darrington Clark is Crick and has previously appeared in several shows at The Coterie. Both actors are marvelous in their respective roles projecting an abundance of energy. Catera Combs is magnificent as Kumi and has a lovely singing voice. Morgan Lynn Sterrett gives a stellar performance as Buzz. Her squeaking voice is wonderful as the bee and the constant fluttering of her hands add to the persona of her character. Other members of this fantastic cast include Morgan Walker and Jake Golliher.
BEAT BUGS continues at The Coterie through May 19. Purchase tickets online at www.thecoterie.org or by calling 816-474-6552.
Photo credit: J. Robert Schraeder and courtesy of The Coterie Theatre.