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Review: DAMES AT SEA Cruises Thru Causing A Tidal Wave Of Top-Deck Entertainment At The Sierra Madre Theatre

Review: DAMES AT SEA Cruises Thru Causing A Tidal Wave Of Top-Deck Entertainment At The Sierra Madre Theatre

I have a special appreciation for artists who really learn their craft; that surround their entire lives dedicated to observation, listening, learning, searching then discovering, creating, improving, perfecting and twerking it a bit to make it organic and unique.
When you have experienced performers who have done it all in their careers in key roles putting together a musical production of this type, it is quite apparent in the outcome. With the esteemed team that is at the "helm" of this production, Director Joshua Finkel, Choreographer Jeffrey Scott Parsons, Costumes Designed by Shon LeBlanc, Lighting Design by Derek Jones, Artistic Director of the Sierra Madre Theatre Christian Lebano, and Live One-Man-Orchestra Sean Paxton; (Google all!) it is full tilt ahead and all aboard for an evening of superb and satisfying entertainment. Review: DAMES AT SEA Cruises Thru Causing A Tidal Wave Of Top-Deck Entertainment At The Sierra Madre Theatre

This Theatre/Company/Production has such a crew to make this a sparkling, entertaining, visually captivating, humming-and-swaying inducing splash of an enjoyable voyage. All the ingredients are there; it's a cornucopia of early musicals a la 42nd Street meets Mickey and Judy Broadway Tony Nom fare.

Casting is spot on. Starring as Ruby, Katie Franquiera fills the role with all the right stuff. She's a delightful, sassy, hard-working gal from Utah, fresh off the bus that has big dreams and loads of spunk. With "nothing but tap shoes in her suitcase and a prayer in her heart," as fate would have it, she is immediately cast in the chorus of a Broadway show. Of course she's a helluva tap dancer, learns quick, fits into all the costumes and has perfect pitch. When it looks like the theatre will have to close, Ruby's brand-new songwriting sailor boyfriend, Dick, played keenly by Aaron Shaw and the glitzy, full-of-herself star of the show, Mona, Review: DAMES AT SEA Cruises Thru Causing A Tidal Wave Of Top-Deck Entertainment At The Sierra Madre Theatre played with torch-song intensity and dazzling hutzpah by the fabulous Jennifer Knox, persuade the Captain of Dick's ship to allow the show to come aboard. The Captain, played tongue-in-cheek by Chuck McLane, is all for uniting with his long-lost flame, the irresistible, alluring Mona. His double-casting as Hennessey, the theatre owner/stage manager with a heart gives him a chance to play more emotions, all convincingly. The entire cast sings, dances, acts and has a grand time doing it, so much so that it's infectious, and you just can't help lapping up the hope and perseverance, and feel the genuine enthusiasm that it's all gonna work out marvelously!
Joan and Lucky, the two sidekicks to Ruby and Dick are just exactly what is needed to flesh out the happy-ending tale and solidify that love (and a lot of talent, willingness and faith) conquers all. The tried-and-true chorine Joan, played ever-so-perfectly and supportively by Marissa Mayer, is the natural heart of the story, using loyalty, honesty, and a clever calculation, to make the best outcome possibly happen, thus inducing HAPPILY EVER AFTER! Review: DAMES AT SEA Cruises Thru Causing A Tidal Wave Of Top-Deck Entertainment At The Sierra Madre Theatre Ruben Bravo, thoroughly enjoyable and delectable as Lucky, also gives this story its true message: be true to yourself and everything else will fall into place... aptly named and reenforced with a carefully timed delivery that works every time he's present on deck.
There are memorable songs, such as "Broadway Baby," Review: DAMES AT SEA Cruises Thru Causing A Tidal Wave Of Top-Deck Entertainment At The Sierra Madre Theatre "Raining in My Heart" and "Good Times Are Here to Stay" that reflect back to a time in history that might be a bit similar to our current political timbre. The staging, direction and choreography for each song really hits the mark. Very creative, well-executed and sharp; clean; polished. And that's not easy with tap dancing! Great tapography!!
Quite the versatile and generous cast and production crew have lent their talents to give you a deluxe cruise you'll want to embark on every season.

Dames at Sea's Original Book and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller. Music by Jim Wise.


NOW PLAYING
Extended through Saturday, August 3.. Fri. & Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 2:30. Saturday matinee at 2:30 on August 3
Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. (626) 355-4318.
ONLINE TICKETING: www.sierramadreplayhouse.org
Photos courtesy of Gina Long


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