With mesmerizing, horn-tinged rhythms, Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Wonderful Town’ zooms through 1930s New York City painting an exuberant and bustling celebration of city life, while two small town and determined sisters strive to discover their dreams within it.
Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston continues the Tony award-winning, Leonard Bernstein musical, ‘Wonderful Town’ through Sunday, August 16! Visit reaglemusictheatre.com for more information!
Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston embarks on another foray into New York City, having launched the summer musical season with Reagle’s show stopping ‘Guys and Dolls’ earlier this summer. As ‘Guys and “Dolls’ portrays the slick and somewhat stealthy side of New York City, ‘Wonderful Town’ depicts New York City with big and bold colors, brimming with abundant enthusiasm.
At the center of this booming metropolis, sit sisters who could not have less in common. What makes this romantic, heartwarming comedy more engaging is it is based on Ruth McKenney’s autobiographic book, ‘My Sister Eileen.’ Katie Ann Clark is flawlessly versatile in a complex role as outspoken and insecure Ruth Sherwood, a role that encompasses many surprises. She is especially compelling during the numbers, ‘Ruth’s Story Vignettes’ and ‘One Hundred Easy Ways,’ showing sharp comedic timing while showcasing her dramatic vocal range.
As dimpled and naïve Eileen Sherwood, Jennifer Ellis lights up the room. Bubbly and dreamy, Jennifer portrays this peppy blond with a natural warmth and social sensibility in every charismatic grin. Ellis exudes effervescent charm with her confessional, ‘A Little Bit in Love,’ and is hilarious in ‘My Darlin’ Eileen.’ Jennifer also has a wide and eloquent vocal range, a soprano with a tinge of an operatic quality. Although the Sherwoods are opposites, they draw on each other’s strengths and their natural chemistry makes them a fascinating duo. Their rapport is especially evident in their touching duet, ‘Ohio.’
The ensemble cast is a portrait of enlivened vivaciousness, a sheer joy on the city streets. From the hijinks in a conga line a rampant Irish jig to an imaginative scene on a subway, choreographer Eileen Grace brilliantly strings together a plethora of dance moves from the era in each jubilant number. The ensemble sets the tone from the very start of the show, depicting New York City’s booming artistic vibe in ‘Christopher Street,’ and the exciting number, ‘Pass the Football.’
Using all corners of the theatre, director David Hugo and scenic designer Richard E. Schreiber make the city as big and bold as it can get. ‘Christopher Street’ is an artisan landscape, full of sheer commotion as city dwellers dress from casual suits to striking, colorful dresses in a charming array from pastels to polka dots reminiscent of the era. Certain city backdrops such as buildings emblazoned in browns, reds, beige and golds are suburb while the less than stellar avenues of the city are executed with verve.
Take a break from the somber shows and leave with a song after watching ‘Wonderful Town’ continuing through Sunday, August 16! Performances are held at the Robinson Theatre, 617 Lexington Street in Waltham, Massachusetts. Call 1-781-891-5600, click here for tickets, or email email@example.com for tickets!
Visit reaglemusictheatre.com for more information on the Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston for upcoming events!