Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The All Night Strut"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2007 by Tony Annicone

"The All Night Strut"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The Community Players' third show of their 86th season is "The All Night Strut", a musical revue of the 1930's & 40's. Described as a musical celebration of the 30's and 40's carrying the audience through the Depression, World War II and the post war boom. The music of the evening includes jazz, blues, bebop and classic song standards that tickle the funny bone and raise the rafters, by such legendary song writers as Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Loesser, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Cab Calloway and the Gershwins. The show is a slice of yesteryear with sublime music and unbeatable energy that's perfect for the new generation of Swing fans as well as die-hard devotees. Splendidly directed by Erika Koch and with excellent musical direction by Lila Kane, this multitalented eight person cast sings 25 songs in 2 Acts and mesmerizes the audience with their talent.

Erika chooses topnotch performers for her show and Lila taught them the intricate harmonies in all the numbers. Lila also plays the keyboards and leads a small combo of wonderful musician's, too. Each vocalist gets a chance to show off their vocal prowess during the show as well as their dancing talent, too. Except for two quartet numbers, the 8 member cast is onstage all the time singing in every number. Some of the highlights of each talented cast member are noted below. Kate Arthur shows off her tap dance during "Fascinating Rhythm", sings "White Cliffs of Dover" and "Operator". Dominique Doiron shows off his tenor voice in "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" while Nicholle Gousie shows off her lovely soprano voice in "I'll Be Seeing You", one of the best ballads in the show, sings the lead in "Lullaby of Broadway", does a scat part in "Operator" and plays the saxophone as does Greg Geer in "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar". Greg also sings the lead in "Ain't Misbehavin". Daniel Kirby sings the lead in "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" and solos in numerous numbers including "Shoo Shoo Baby". Blond haired Dale Magnuson gets to show off her voice in "Minnie, the Moocher", "In the Mood" and in "A Fine Romance" as does blond belter, Jennifer Selke. Jennifer also belts out "Gimme A Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer. Dark haired Matt Webster shows off his crooning voice in "As Time Goes By" solo and in "Shoo Shoo Baby" as well as in "A Fine Romance". ( Congratulations to Matt and his wife, Eve-Marie who choreographed "In the Mood" on their upcoming parenthood on September 1 of this year.) Other outstanding group numbers include "Dream", "It Don't Mean a Thing" and "Lullaby of Broadway". So for a fascinating evening of entertaining songs and dances of the past be sure to catch "The All Night Strut" before it struts out of town.

"The All Night Strut" (13 - 29 April)
THE COMMUNITY PLAYERS
Jenks Jr High Auditorium, Division Street, PAWTUCKET RI
1 (401) 726-6860

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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