BWW Review: The World Premiere of PAMELAS FIRST MUSICAL at TRT Shines Bright on the Red Bank Stage
The exciting world premiere of Pamela's First Musical is now on stage at Two River Theater through October 7 and as they say in the show, it's "splendiferous." Musical theatre lovers and many more will be delighted by this dazzling, enthralling production that kicks off Two River Theater's 2018/2019 season. Directed and choreographed by Graciela Daniele, the show features a book by Wendy Wasserstein and Christopher Durang with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by David Zippel. The star-studded cast is performance perfection. This is a show that will surely be enjoyed by a broad audience of theatergoers including families with youngsters.
Pamela's First Musical is based on the book by Wendy Wasserstein and illustrated by Andrew Jackness. Pamela is an independent, imaginative child whose mother has passed away and she feels misunderstood, even by her loving father, Kevin. Pamela has a great penchant for theatre that she shares with her vivacious Aunt Louise. On Pamela's birthday, her aunt takes her on a wonderful adventure to New York City where she encounters colorful characters, experiences her first Broadway musical and gets to meet the members of the show's cast and creative. Pamela's interest in theatre blossoms when she gets see the song and dance hit, "The Best Use of Feet." And this show within the show turns out to be an entertaining and amusing blend of some of Broadway's best-known scenes. Pamela's First Musical is spirited and heartfelt, an original musical theatre piece that brings a bit of the Great White Way to New Jersey.
You'll love the cast! The highly accomplished company electrifies the stage with their musical prowess and wonderful character portrayals. They include Sarah McKinley Austin as Pamela; Carolee Carmello as Aunt Louise; Andréa Burns as Mary Ethel Bernadette; David Garrison as Bernie S. Gerry; and Michael Mulheren as Hal Hitner. Deftly assuming multiple roles are Howard McGillan; Wesley J. Barnes; Mary Callanan; Nick Cearley; Erica Dorfler; Hillary Fisher; Jacobi Hall; and Blake Zolfo. Members of the Ensemble are Jeanine Bruen and Elizabeth Ritacco.
The musical score of the show is an ideal complement to the story along with the lively dance numbers. There are memorable songs that you may find yourself humming even days later. Some of our favorites include "Where All the Pieces Fit" by Pamela, "Anything That You Do" by Louise, "Manhattan Moves Me" by Louise, Pamela and Ensemble; "Welcome to Sardi's" by Bernie; "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" by Nathan , Mary Ethel, The Messenger; and "You Make Me Proud" by Kevin.
The Creative Team had done a great job of bringing Pamela's First Musical to the Red Bank Stage. They include scenic design by David Gallo and Viveca Gardiner; costume design by Gabriel Berry; lighting design by David Lander; and sound design by Drew Levy. The Music Director is Gregory J. Diugos; Orchestrator is Charlie Rosen; casting is by Tara Rubin Casting; Production Stage Manager is Lori M. Doyle; and Assistant Stage Manager is James Steele.
Our compliments to Artistic Director, John Dias and Managing Director, Michael Hurst for bringing Pamela's First Musical to the metro area. We are sure that it is a show that will have a long life in the realm of musical theatre. Gather your group, get your tickets and see it while you can!
Pamela's First Musical will be performed at Two River Theater from 9/8 to 10/7. The theater is located at 21 Bridge Ave, Red Bank, NJ 07701. For ticketing and information, call (732) 345-1400 and visit https://www.tworivertheater.org/.
Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson