BWW Previews: Step Back In Time With Spanish Lyric Theatre's THE MARVELLOUS WONDERETTES at HCC Mainstage Theatre Ybor City
Opening Friday, October 11, for a single weekend run at HCC Theatre in Ybor City is Spanish Lyric Theatre's production of the jukebox musical, "The Marvelous Wonderettes."
In 1958, Cindy Lou (Melanie Marie Bierweiler), Missy (Sara Mangrum), Betty Jean (Katie Michaels), and Suzy (Victoria Sexton) are the last-minute replacements to perform at the prom. "The Marvelous Wonderettes, "are not the first choice, but the boys that were supposed to play got in trouble, so the second-string group saved the night.
After intermission, the quartet returns as headliners to their high school reunion, and we learn about the ups and downs in their lives and if the bond of friendship is still strong ten years later.
"The songs in the second act tell you what's been happening in the girls' lives in the last ten years," said director Cyndee Dornblaser.
The show is something that a child, parent, and grandparent could share.
"We picked four of the best vocalists you will ever see on one stage at the same time in Tampa," she said. "The first time the music director and I heard them sing together, the blend was so beautiful. We're just ecstatic with their vocals. We want to give the audience something different that they haven't seen. The show has been done before, but I don't think you're going to see the same show."
"The Marvelous Wonderettes" tells the story of a quartet typical of any high school. Suzy is the ditzy one, Missy is the control freak perfectionist with a secret, Cindy Lou is flirty and hopes to be prom queen, and Betty Jean is the class clown.
"When I cast this show, all the girls said 'typecasting,'" joked Cyndee.
This show is meant to be interactive; without giving too much away, in certain scenes, the audience will be part of the entertainment. Most will know the lyrics, so Cyndee expects they will sing along to an eclectic mix of beloved and familiar 50s and 60s standards songs like "Respect," "It's My Party," "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me," and "It's In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)."
"We really get the audience involved."
Cyndee said that picking her favorite song was too difficult; she had way too many favorite performances by the cast to narrow down to one.
"It's a great show, and it's adorable, but we want people to see beyond that to feel like they are a back in time and have a sense who these girls are," said director Cyndee Dornblaster. "You can come and watch the journey and feel like you're part of it. We were all in high school once. We all knew these girls. There is someone everyone can relate to. It's much more than girl power. It's a journey through friendship, ambition, love, and loss. It's more than basic nostalgia. It's a look back at where you've been and how far you've come."
"The Marvelous Wonderettes" is Friday, Oct. 11 through Sunday, Oct. 13 at HCC Ybor Mainstage Theatre, 1411 E. 11th Avenue, Tampa. Tickets are $28 with senior, military, teacher, and student discounts. To purchase tickets or find out more about Spanish Lyric Theatre/SLT Productions contact the Box Office at (813) 603-6221 or visit www.spanishlyrictheatre.com.