BWW Review: REWIND, An Original 80s Musical, Bops Into Hollywood For The Fringe Festival at Let Live Theatre
Winner of the 2019 Encore! Producers' Award, Rewind is a Musical Tale about Love, Redemption and the Magic of Second Chances.
A powerful producer derails a young girl's promising music career and she spends the next 50 years waiting tables. When the producer skydives out of a plane, he is met with an untimely end and is barred from Heaven. To gain entrance he must, with a little help from the Universe, rewind Time and help her reclaim her destiny.
He's given a year's time limit.
On New Years Eve 2019, 67-year-old Gina Spinelli waits tables at a greasy-spoon eatery in Greenwich Village, NYC. As her last customer leaves, she clears his dishes and finds a card with a cryptic message. It claims she has the power to turn back time and save a lost soul. Incredulous, but with nothing to lose, Gina follows the card's curious directions...
suddenly it's 1985 again...
Suzanne Slade, as Gina, perfectly plays the victim/victor with humility, staunch fortitude and determination at first, and bravery, self-assurance and a whole lotta pizazz after her finally-found success. Her character shows a lot of heart no matter if she feels downtrodden or fulfilled. Perky, caring, attractive and talented, it's no wonder everyone around her adores her.
It seems our recently deceased producer Nigel, played convincingly by Nelson Hayne has surfaced and is now a big-time record mogul looking for a hit song to top the charts. The girl who was jilted by him all those years ago is Gina (but going by "Gigi" now) and his "assignment" is to give Gina a second chance
Back at Noah's Ark & Grill diner, we meet Tommy, a rock-star wanna-be who Gina's been dating, played by Chris Kerrigan and his sidekick, Mark, entertainingly played by David Sasik. He's a riot in his hippie, stoner gear and manner! They are both sittin' around getting high like a coupla hippies and sort-of goofing around on their guitars, much to Gina's chagrin, who's all charged up after work and ready to go dancing. Tommy is in the middle of a depression regarding his whole life, and keeps Gina at bay, so much so that she's ready to break it off.
We meet other characters as the months slip by: Darcy, a country singer from Nashville who Gina immediately hires to work at the diner. She's just off the bus and needs a gig and place to stay, fast. Of course Gina welcomes her with open arms. Natalie Miller does a great job as Darcy in all departments, is very lively on stage and has a great country voice to boot.
Megan Beard, playing Cookie is delightful in her quest to succeed, singing and boogie-ing "Inch by inch, I'll Climb and make the Big Time." She is Nigel's assistant at Spire Records but has dreams of her own. She helps guide the plot along to it's positive outcome.
Thomas Adoue Polk, as Ram, the "track" writer at Spire plays him as an all-out life-of-the-party guy, with much enthusiasm. All of the performers sing very well, have a blast with the choreography and are into their roles and characters.
There is so much more to the story, with twists, turns and surprises, moving the action forward and keeping us involved, but the culmination is a treat!
Turns out Darcy & Mark fall in love, Darcy is actually Gina's long-lost daughter (with Nigel as Dad), Tommy is finally on his own successful path, Tommy & Mark write the vocals and music for the hit song, Cookie has become a top promotor, Nigel fulfills his mission, and Gina becomes a total pop star, ending up playing Carnegie Hall, New Year's Eve 1986! She rocks the house singing her top-ten hit, with everyone there to witness it, and this talented cast puts the button on with a great singing and dancing finale.
There are an abundance of songs-and-dances that are really a joy to behold with clever, witty dance moves from the '80s, choreographed expertly by Nancy Dobbs Owen, who also Directed this quick-paced fantasy, not missing a beat or an extra touch, giving the audience a reason to smile throughout.
Writers/Producers Geoffrey Rose and Sam Rose ARE actually singer/songwriters and music producers in real life, with the credits to prove their success. "Roze Broze Productions" obviously took from their own history to assemble this mid-'80s musical retrospect with humor, joy, clever lyrics and a happy ending!
Fun costuming and creatively lit, it's Fun for All! Hopefully they will soon be adding additional performances. Check at http://www.rewindthemusical.com/.
Photos by Darby Epperson and Nancy Dobbs Owen