'Wonderettes' provides fun evening of 50s, 60s music

by April Helms special products editor Published:

Those who enjoy 50s and 60s era music can hear a potpourri of songs in "The Marvelous Wonderettes," now on stage at Stow Players.

The show, which opened Feb. 1 and is directed by Marc C. Howard, features four young women who sing together, and the four actresses cast do a marvelous job, both with the vocals and bringing their characters to life. The list of songs includes "Lollipop," "Dream Lover," "Stupid Cupid," "Lipstick on Your Collar," "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me," "It's My Party" and "Son of a Preacher Man."

The first half takes place during their senior prom, when the Marvelous Wonderettes are called in to perform in place of the Crooning Crabcakes after their lead singer is suspended from school. The four are thrilled at the chance to perform at such an event, but there are problems backstage, particularly between Betty Jean (played by Cuyahoga Falls resident Chanda Porter) and Cindy Lou (played by Munroe Falls resident Lori Rodeman). The former best friends are feuding over the fact that Betty Jean caught Cindy Lou kissing her boyfriend. Meanwhile, the shy and reserved Missy (played by Twinsburg resident Jennifer Cull) confesses publicly her crush on music teacher Mr. Lee. Suzy (played by Stow resident Shani Ferry) is just thrilled to be pinned by her sweetheart Richie, who operates the lights at the prom.

The second act takes place 10 years later, and their high school reunion. The four are older and wiser, and through music catch up the audience about their lives up to this point. Missy has gained confidence and Mr. Lee as her steady sweetheart. Suzy, meanwhile, has married Richie and is pregnant with their first child but their relationship has hit a rough patch. Betty Jean is contemplating a divorce from her husband, and Cindy Lou has had her own heartbreak with her boyfriend. But old friendships are renewed, and the four come together to support each other.

Michael James, who also designed the costumes for the production, also appears briefly as the school principal.

Cull, a senior at Twinsburg High School, said the play "was the most challenging show I've done."

"It's challenging with just four people, and this is a full-length show," she said.

Cull said she enjoyed the experience.

"I've been in shows with [Howard] before, and all of his shows are fantastic," she said. "It's neat to do a show in a smaller space."

Rodeman said working on this show was "an absolute blast."

"They took all the good 50s and 60s music, and made a great production," Rodeman said.

Ticket and show information

"The Marvelous Wonderettes" runs through Feb. 23.

Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., and there is a Sunday matinee on Feb. 17, at 2:30 p.m.

Ticket prices are $14 for general admission, and $12 for senior citizens and students.

A special wine (or soft drinks) and chocolates evening is scheduled for the Feb. 16 performance.

All performances are in the Heritage Barn in Stow's Silver Springs Park, with access from Young Road only.

Call 330-655-6051 for reservations and information, or visit www.stowplayers.net or email them at info@stowplayers.net for details.

Next on stage

Stow Players will next produce "Becky's New Car" by Steven Dietz, which will run March 8 through 23.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9438

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