Review Roundup: FROM HERE TO ETERNITY at Olgunquit Playhouse
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY plays at Olgunquit Playhouse through October 29. Set in Hawaii in the weeks before the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, this epic tale follows the powerful story of two U.S soldiers, the soulful Private Prewitt and ardent Sergeant Warden, as they embark on doomed and dangerous love affairs with the wrong women. As the infamous date of December 7th approaches, the claustrophobic world of the four lovers and the desperation of the soldiers of G Company splinter amidst an escalating war. The compelling story of men at war along with a fantastic new score is not to be missed.
This is the North American premiere of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, and it is a collaboration between the Olgunquit Playhouse, Tim Rice, and the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. The show is based on James Jones' novel of the same name, with lyrics by Tim Rice, a book by Donald Rice and Bill Oakes, and music by Stuart Brayson.
The cast stars Kevin Aichele as Milton Warden, Derek Carley as Robert E. Lee Prewitt, Bradley Dean as Lieutenant Dana Holmes, Robyn Hurder as Karen Homes, Jenna Nicole Schoen as Lorene, Michael Tacconi as Maggio, ReEd Campbell as Judson, Jason Michael Evans as Isaac Bloom, Jodi Kimura as Mrs. Kipfur, and Tony Naumovski as Ike Galovitch.
The cast also includes Ceasar F. Barajas, Jodi Bluestein, Lexi Carter, Milika Cheree, Jess Corbin, Mike Dinneen, Stephanie Feeback, Jon Hacker, Clayton Howe, Ryan J. MacConnell, Tricia Marciel, Madeline Metzger, Sergio Pasquariello, Travis Przybylski, Alec Michael Ryan, Drew Shafranek, and Angela Travino.
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is directed and choreographed by Brett Smock, with musical direction by Vadim Feichtner, scenic design by Stanley A. Meyer, costume design by Dustin Cross, lighting design by Richard Latta, and sound design by Kevin Heard.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Bobby Franklin, Boxing Over Broadway: The score is outstanding and hits hard and fast with the opening number G Company Blues. The choreography is tight and very physical, conveying the hard life these men lived. Other songs such as Thirty Year Man, Don'cha Like Hawaii, and I Love The Army. Something In Return is an amazing number that was superbly done... From Here To Eternity at the Ogunquit Playhouse is truly an experience not to be missed. Artistic Director Brad Kenney has closed out the Playhouse's 85th season in spectacular fashion.
Dan Marois, BroadwayWorld: As for the cast, their talent far exceeds the script given to them. Carley is an exceptional vocalist and fine actor making the most of a role that muddles its way in the show. I'd also like to see a bit more genuine chemistry between Carley and his lover portrayed by Schoen... In a line from Sargent Milt Warden, he says, "a soldier isn't a soldier until he finds the enemy. After that, there is no stopping him." Perhaps, a theatrical paraphrase for From Here to Eternity could be, "a musical isn't a musical until it finds its story. After that, there is no stopping it."
Photo: Gary Ng