Theatre Mirror Reviews - " That 70’s Show "

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England’s LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2011 by Carl A. Rossi


“Barry Gibb”; “Elton John”; “Sonny Bono” … Anthony Edwards
“Barbra Streisand”; “Cher” … Eddie Edwards
“Michael Jackson” … Michael Knight
“Stevie Nicks” … Julie Myers
“Rod Stewart” … Martin Andrew

By the time you read these scribbles, The Edwards Twins (Anthony and Eddie) will have departed from the Stoneham Theatre with THAT 70’S SHOW, another showcase of their jaw-dropping vocal and visual illusions, focusing on what one cd-manufacturing company described as “the decade that won’t die”. Granted, the Polyester Years are a vacuum compared to the anger and energy of the 1960s, but the 1970s was a time for healing and mellowing out and stretching society’s rules --- after getting through the Great Depression, World War Two, the Bomb, the Korean War, the Cold War, assassinations, Watergate and Vietnam, it was time for America to Have a Nice Day!

May the Edwards become a Stoneham staple for they’ve not trotted out even a quarter of their repertoire (“2 Brothers --- 100 Stars!”) --- I assume they mix and match for vocal health as well as variety, and since there are no printed programs per se, their audiences squirm in delicious suspense-and-release: “Who will they do, next? AHHHH!” For THAT 70’S SHOW, the brothers supplemented with fellow impressionists Michael Knight, Julie Myers and Martin Andrew --- a wise choice since the brothers are more Vegas than rockers (though Anthony opened with a handsome, leonine Barry Gibb). With no printed program, this unannounced trio led to some delightful confusion, particularly Ms. Myers’ alluring Stevie Nicks --- “is that a real woman or is Eddie a genius?” Ms. Myers performed as “woman” rather than “female” and let Ms. Nicks’ songs dictate her movements, compared to Eddie’s flamboyant divas who were stylized to begin with. Mr. Knight (a white man in blackface) dazzled as Michael Jackson albeit a decade too early --- his Prince of Pop should have been crooning “Ben” rather than moonwalking --- and the spikey, rasping Rod Stewart simply had to be Eddie but, no, it was Mr. Andrew in all the Scot’s androgynous glory. The curtain call --- five artists in a row --- settled all bets.

Last month, I advised those attending THAT 70’S SHOW to bring along a cynical teen-ager and share the magic; when I attended, grey, thinning and bald dominated the packed house --- these Flower Children wanted the Edwards’ magic to themselves. The brothers will perform at Boston’s Nick’s Comedy Stop for three nights (2-4 June 2011) before returning to the Stoneham, next year. Will you experience them now --- or later?

"That 70’s Show" (13-17 April)
395 Main Street, STONEHAM, MA
1 (781) 279-7885

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England’s LIVE Theater Guide