Slow Burn “Wonderettes” at Broward Center
By Skip Sheffield
Slow Burn Theatre of Boca Raton has taken a giant step forward with its debut production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes” at Broward Center for the Arts.
The musical comedy revue, which has a long run through Nov. 23, will not be the first of Slow Burn productions at Broward Center. It’s just the beginning of a relationship that will eventually make Slow Burn the house theater company at Broward Center.
“Marvelous Wonderettes” is an eye-catching crowd-pleaser with fabulous, funny costumes by Rick Pena. It’s a kind of a female version of “Forever Plaid,” written and created by Roger Bean. There is hardly any plot. We meet the four girls of the title at their high school senior prom in Springfield, USA in 1958. In act two ten years have passed and the girls are having a tenth anniversary reunion.
Director/choreographer Patrick Fitzwater was chosen his “girls” well by physical type, comedy chops and vocal ability.
Abby Perkins is Missy, the somewhat quirky, offbeat character with silly 1950s glasses. Amy Miller Brennan (Cindy Lou) is a much-honored South Florida actress/singer who most recently won the Carbonell award for Best Actress Musical in the Actors’ Playhouse production of “Ruthless.”
Julie Kleiner (Betty Jean) is a local polished pro whose first professional gig was as Annie in “Annie Warbucks” at Broward Center. She even had her Bat Mitzvah in the same space that is now the Abdo New River Room Theater.
Bubbly blond, voluptuous Suzy is played by Lindsey Corey, originally from Chattanooga, TN. She was one of the skating actresses in the Slow Burn production of “Xanadu.”
Basically the songs are grouped by the decade, from solos to four-part harmonies. Act one has such 1950s girl group hits as “Lollipop,: “Born Too Late,” “I Only Want to be with You” and “Heatwave,” as well as pop hits such as “Allegheny Moon,” “All I Have to Do is Dream” and “Hold Me, Thrill Me,” “Kiss Me.”
Act two has 1960s favorites such as “It’s My Party,” “Rescue Me,” “Respect” and “Wedding Bell Blues.”
New at Broward Center is a New River Bistro on-site restaurant for the convenience of theater-goers. Prix fixe and a la carte dinners are offered two and half hours before evening curtain times and a 10 a.m. Sunday Brunch. Call 954-522-5334.
Tickets for “Marvelous Wonderettes” show-only are $45 and may be reserved by calling TicketMaster at 800-745-3000 or online at BrowardCenter.org.