The music of the swinging sixties is brought to the stage in the Enlightened Theatrics version of Shout! The Mod Musical, which was created by Phillip George, David Lowenstein and Peter Charles Morris in 2006.  Set in London between the early 1960s and 1970, Shout follows the lives of four British women known as Red, Green, Blue, Orange and one American, Yellow, who all face tough situations involving relationships. ‘Shout’ is the name of the popular song by the Isley Brothers and also a British women’s magazine in which the five women read for tips on love and relationships. Many women in the audience identified with the hysterical letters to advice columnist Gwendolyn Holmes who would respond to the cries of help from women across London with an acrid, droll and moralistic tone, suggesting that perhaps a ‘new hairdo’ might solve their crisis. 

Directed by Vincenzo Meduri, the ensemble cast of Kurleen Nowickas (Blue), Tara Beanblossom (Orange), Jessica Peterson (Green), Paige Hanna (Red) and Deborah Mae Hill (Yellow) sing and dance their way through the liberating 1960s with such songs as “Son of a Preacher Man” and “Downtown” made famous by British pop singers Petula Clark and Dusty Springfield.  The choreography by Andrew Start is reminiscent of the popular dance styles of the era from the twist to the mashed potato and the frug. The minimalist set allows the staging to move fluidly between scenes and songs. The fine musical direction of Kent Wilson and a talented four piece band ensures a full musical experience. The voices of all five women are wonderful, notably Paige Hanna’s powerful vocals and Deborah Mae Hill’s pitch perfect renditions. It’s clear that women in the 60s were focused on love, marriage, clothes and fashion, but ‘To Sir With Love’, ‘I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love’ and ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’ bring the key theme home, love.

Watching the energetic performance, one forgets that the 1960s is the decade of the Civil Rights Act, the deaths  of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the Vietnam War, Star Trek, the first heart transplant, the first Super Bowl, and the first man on the moon. All of which quickly falls away as we dance and sing in our seats to the wonderful rendition of ‘Coldfinger’!

 

SHOUT!

May 16 – June 10  @ 7:30 pm

Enlightened Theatrics

Location: 187 High Street NE,
Salem, OR 97301.

Price: Tickets are $28.

Box Office: 503-585-3427
www.EnlightenedTheatrics.org