By Kenneth Jones
06 Nov 2009
By close, the well-reviewed crowd-pleaser (which includes audience participation) will have played 545 performances and 19 previews at the Westside Theatre. The show spawned a cast album and its New York presence has helped raise its profile in a way that will help prompt a wider life in regional theatres, where the project originally dawned.
Recently, new productions of The Marvelous Wonderettes opened at Chicago's Northlight Theatre and Miami's Actors' Playhouse. In the year to come, new productions are slated to open at Detroit's Gem Theatre and Lincoln's Tada Theatre in February 2010, Long Beach's Musical Theatre West in April 2010, Cincinnati's Ensemble Theatre in May 2010 and Albany's Capital Repertory Theatre in June 2010.
In recent weeks, the Off-Broadway producers did away with the show's live band, replacing it with computerized music.
Here's how producers characterize the show: "A cotton candy-colored non-stop pop musical, The Marvelous Wonderettes features the iconic sounds of the fifties and sixties in a journey back to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where the Wonderettes — Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy — are four young girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. Brimming with such classic hits as 'Lollipop,' 'Dream Lover,' 'Stupid Cupid,' 'Lipstick on Your Collar,' 'Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me,' 'It's My Party' and 'It's In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song),' The Marvelous Wonderettes is a high-octane musical blast from the past."
Presented by David Elzer (Jewtopia, The Laramie Project), Peter Schneider (The Lion King, Sister Act: The Musical) and Marvelous NYC, LLC, The Marvelous Wonderettes features choreography by Janet Miller, musical direction by Brian William Baker, set design by Mike Carnahan, costume and wig design by Bobby Pearce (Broadway's Taboo) and lighting design by Jeremy Pivnick.
The Marvelous Wonderettes plays at The Westside Theatre, upstairs, 407 W. 43rd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenues). Tickets are $79. Call Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200. For more information, is it www.MarvelousWonderettes.com.