musical

Review: Beehive the 60s Musical

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Photo by Danny Lam

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.

Preview: Beehive the 60’s Musical

beehive headerBy Monica Jarrell, guest blogger

Beehive: The 60’s Musical

Created by Larry Gallagher

Directed and Choreographed by Candy Brown

Musical Direction by Dr. Michael Williams

You don’t want to miss this party! Beehive is the ultimate celebration of female empowerment of the 1960s. It is the genre that really paved the way for female vocalists ranging from Diane Ross and the Supremes to Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin.

This wild and happening musical is a collection of female musicians who made the ‘60s truly memorable and will take you on a journey through the look and the feel of the times.  Beehive features classic jukebox chart toppers and Aqua net coiffures, with groovy hits such as “My Boyfriend’s Back,” “Be My Baby,” and “Son of a Preacher Man.” As the music plays, there is a guarantee you will find yourself wanting to get up and do the pony, the shimmy, and the locomotion.

In the late 1950s and early ‘60s, the Beehive was considered the height of fashion. The Beehive was created by a hairdresser named Margaret Vinci Heldt who designed it to make women look taller. Beehive: The 60’s Musical nostalgically recalls the days of big hair, hot pants, and flower power.

So, tease up your hair, put on your “baby doll” top and be prepared to sing along and dance in the aisles to one of music’s truly golden eras.

Beehive Insta Pic

Check out this sneak peek of the set!

Beehive: The 60’s Musical will be on stage at the Lone Tree Arts Center Wednesday, April 3rd through Saturday, April 13th. Get your tickets now before they sell out! Click here for tickets!

EVITA: Visiting Argentina

by Katie Konishi, Marketing Specialist

In April, LTAC is taking on a challenge like nothing we’ve quite tackled before–we’re producting a fully-staged, big name musical. EVITA, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, is the story of Eva Perón, one of Argentina’s most controversial First Ladies. It’s our biggest endeavor to date, and we’ve put together an all-star team to make it happen.Evita_Logo-1

EVITA opened in London’s West End in 1978 and the show follows Eva Perón throughout her life, from her humble beginnings to her rise to power and through the upper echelons of society. Just recently, there were revivals of the show in both London and New York. There was also a film version of the musical, starring Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, and Antonio Banderas in 1996.

The film version is how our director, Gina Rattan, came to know the musical. But her interest in the story of EVITA wasn’t just a passing fancy–it ignited a passion for the story of Argentina’s former First Lady. So much so, that Gina traveled to Buenos Aires to immerse herself in Eva’s world. Gina heard about our production of the show from her friend Ben Klein, an associate director on Broadway and the keynote speaker of our 2015 Sensory Friendly Summit, who put her in touch with our executive director, Lisa Rigsby Peterson. The rest, as they say, is history!

Gina has directed the second national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and been the associate director of the same show on Broadway, as well as being the associate director of Matilda the Musical on Broadway and NBC’s Peter Pan Live! and The Sound of Music Live! Most recently, she directed Pace University’s production of another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. Something that she enjoys about Webber’s musicals is that they’re complete stories–there isn’t a lot of exposition and you get to see everything play out on stage. The challenge that this presents for the creative team, of course, is how to make sure that they’re telling the fullest, clearest, most exciting version of the story as possible.

Gina Rattan

Gina Rattan

EVITA is one of Gina’s favorite shows and she’s excited to tackle the challenges of directing a show that she knows and loves. “First of all, it’s such a great show as a piece of musical theater. The complicated protagonist is female…she’s not oversimplified, she presents a real person,” Gina says of the show. “It’s a very political show, but it doesn’t play out like a history lesson. All the characters are so passionate and involved in the politics of the show. And that’s not exaggerated — the people of Argentina are really like that!”

One of the characters that Gina is most excited about is the city of Buenos Aires itself. The show is imbued with the vibrancy of the city and it becomes like a character of its own. Every bit of the creative team is responsible for creating the city–from the scenic and sound designers, to the costumes and choreography, we’ll be bringing Buenos Aires to life on stage, as well as the characters themselves.

EVITA is a show that is political and personal, entertaining but thought-provoking. It’s substantive and escapist. It will be a beautiful piece of theater that’s unlike anything that we’ve ever done at the Arts Center, and everyone involved in the production, including Gina, can’t wait to share it with you!

EVITA runs at the Lone Tree Arts Center April 13-29, 2017.