By Monica Jarrell, guest blogger
Beehive the 60’s Musical
Created by Larry Gallagher
Director/Choreographer: Candy Brown
Musical Director: Dr. Michael A. Williams
If you have not seen Beehive the 60’s Musical at the Lone Tree Arts Center, you still have time. It will be showing from April 3rd through April 13th. Call soon to reserve your spot.
This is one musical you do not want to miss. It is based on the songs from the 60s, with the all-female cast performing songs originally sung by women during that era. By showcasing the women’s music of the ‘60s, Beehive shows us the influence of the female social issues and political feelings of the time.
The show opens to the voice of a radio announcer. The band is on stage, inside the working rooms of a radio station. It feels like we are part of a radio show. The stage is decorated in a ‘60s theme with 45s records hanging from the ceiling.
The first performance is the introduction of the 6 powerful female vocalists. They are dressed in the big swing dresses of the ‘60s, talking on corded phones and of course they all have big beehives and kitten heels. The number is a high energy song “Round the Beehive/Lets Rock.” This first act has everyone in the audience singing from the start.
The ladies introduce themselves by singing the name game. They even had some people from the audience participate. This is where the party gets started.
Jasmine is played by Piper Lindsay Arpan who is a choreographer, singer and performer. She has been seen in Reunion ’85, Home for the Holidays, Guys and Dolls in Concert, Ragtime and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Her dancing ability is as impressive as her singing talent.
Patti is played by Valerie Igoe. Valerie is making her debut to the Lone Tree Arts Center. Her credits include Annie, The Full Monty, Rock of Ages and 42nd Street.
Karen Jeffreys plays Alison. Maybe you saw her in My Way: Tribute to Frank Sinatra, Camelot, Winter Wonderettes, Reunion ’85, South Pacific in Concert and Home for the Holidays.
Melody Moore stars as Laura. Melody has been in numerous off-Broadway shows including Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Queenie in The Wild Party and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Gina is played by Sheryl Renee. Sheryl’s career highlights include singing the national anthem for President Barack Obama. She has appeared on stage shows, a radio host and numerous theatrical productions. Sheryl stole the show with her performance of Tina Turner.
Wanda performed by Sharon Kay White serves as the show’s narrator. She offers bits of fashion advice and information about the era to give greater insight to each song. Wanda’s credits include performances all over the world including the Arvada Center, Lake Dillon Theater Company, Aurora Fox Arts Center, Country Dinner Playhouse and many more.
As we move through the decade, the music and the costumes shift dramatically. The six powerful performers make their way through the early ‘60s with songs such as “It’s My Party” By Lesley Gore, “I’ll Never Change Him by Annette Funicello, “Sweet Talkin’ Guy” by The Chiffons, “To Sir with Love” by Lulu, “My Boy Friend is Back” by The Angels and “Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals.
Beehive then moved through to a more edgy time of the ‘60s with full or partial renditions of songs like “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore. For those of you who do not know this song was thought to be a game changer for the women’s movement in the ‘60s. Other numbers included: “Baby I Love You” by Aretha Franklin, several selections from Tina Turner (“River Deep, Mountain High” and “Proud Mary” and “Chain of Fools”).
The costumes changes were incredible as the decade rolled out on stage. The beehive was gone, and long hair, go-go boots and mini skirts are now seen. The women on stage convey to the audience the changing attitude of the women of the 60s.
Next up was Janis Joplin (Karen Jeffreys). This performance brought down the house with “Cry Baby” and “Me and Bobby McGee.” She looked, acted and sounded the part, with boa feathers and all. If Janis was a favorite of yours, you will want to see to this.
The show combines nostalgia with girl power. The ‘60s was a time when proper behavior gave way to youthful rebellion and a newly awakening generation pushed to be heard through their music.
Make plans to see this show before it is gone.