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BWW Review: PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES at Paper Mill is Pure Enjoyment

There's toe tapping, hand clapping, finger snapping fun at Paper Mill Playhouse. Pump Boys and Dinettes, the hit musical stage show, is on the Millburn stage through May 1st. Written and conceived by John Foley, Foley also directs this clever, entertaining show that enjoys inspired choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter. The vibrant production is a real crowd-pleaser and features an incredibly talented cast of musical performers.

Pump Boys and Dinettes takes place on Highway 57 in North Carolina where the Double Cupp Diner is run by "the dinettes" right next to the gas and repair station where the "pump boys" work. This group folks offers a glimpse of their southern culture with a series of terrific tunes. While country music dominates the show, there are also some beautiful heartfelt songs and spirited rock and roll. Full of humor and heart, Pump Boys and Dinettes is a show that invites you to sit back, relax and enjoy.

The loosely strung plot in Pump Boys and Dinettes relies heavily on the show's wonderful score and the development of the distinctive characters. And it is the musicianship of this cast that makes the production a total happening. The talented troupe includes the Pump Boys, James Barry as Jim; Gabe Bowling as Jackson; Jason Ostrowski as L.M. and Sam Weber as Eddie. The Dinettes are Julie Foldesi as Prudie and Alysha Umphress as Rhetta. Instrumentalists and vocalists alike, Paper Mill has assembled a fantastic company for the show.

Outstanding musical numbers abound like the opening piece, "Highway 57" by company; "Best Man" by Prudie; "Be Good or Be Gone" by Rhetta; "Pump Boys" by the Pump Boys; "Mona" by Jackson; "Tips" by the Dinettes and "Vacation" by the entire company.

The design team brings a true sense small town life to the stage with scenic design by Michael Schweikardt; costume design by Brian Hemesath; lighting design by F. Mitchell Dana; sound design by Randy Hansen and hair and wig design by Jodi Mancuso. The casting is by Telsey + Company and Gary Mickelson is the Production Stage Manager.

Spring has officially arrived and what better time to visit Paper Mill Playhouse. Pump Boys and Dinettes is pure fun on the Millburn stage.

Pump Boys and Dinettes will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now starting at $32. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. College students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

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