CCTC's 'Wonderettes' A Wonder

By: Amy Tagliaferri

Topics: Local Theater

The cast of “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” from left: Heidi Cloutier, Julia Wiseman, Madison Mayer and Isabelle Archer. COURTESY PHOTO

The Wonderettes are Team Chipmunk in honor of Springfield High’s mascot, but Cape audiences are fans of Team Wilder-Hutchinson.

This dynamic duo, Robert Wilder and Suzette Hutchin- son, has done it again! (Previously the two collaborated on “Always, Patsy Cline,” “Sister Act,” “The Great American TrailerParkMusical,”andmanyothers.) Thistimeyou’ll take a trip back in time to those fabulous ‘50s and the rockin’ ‘60s with the off-Broadway hit “The Marvelous Wonderettes.” These girls, the Marvelous Wonderettes, are quirky and fun-loving, singing more than 30 songs with infectious joy and tongue-in-cheek as they go through their teenage drama. Audiences are sure to leave the theater with a grin on their face and a song in their heart.

Act One is the 1958 senior prom at Springfield High where the four students who call themselves The Mar- velous Wonderettes perform familiar love-themed songs from the era. Here we get to know the four friends: Suzy (Heidi Cloutier), Betty Jean (Isabelle Archer), Cindy Lou (Julia Wiseman) and Missy (Madison Mayer). Act Two is the same scene, the high school gym, but at their 10-year class reunion. So much has changed with them and the music, as the girls use the songs from that tumultuous time to update us on their lives. Does Suzy end up with Ritchie the lighting guy? Who did Johnny choose, girl- friend Betty Jean or boyfriend-stealer Cindy Lou? And will the two ever be best friends again? And has Missy gotten over her crush on teacher Mr. Lee?

Each young performer has a chance to shine. Act One is a fun and funny introduction of the quartet, and in Act Two they really let it go. Cloutier showed off her vocal chops in “Stupid Cupid,” “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” and “Rescue Me.” Archer’s range was evident in “Lipstick on Your Collar,” “I Only Want to Be With You” and “It’s My Party.” Wiseman brought roars from the opening night audience with “Son of a Preacher Man” and laughter as she struggled through “Allegheny Moon” dealing with Betty Jean’s antics. Mayer owned “You Don’t Own Me” and “Secret Love.” These were big moments for the performers, but in smaller, more intricate ways they were a true ensemble on the group numbers (“Mr. Sandman,” “Lollipop,” “All I Have to do is Dream/Dream Lover,” “Heatwave,” “Respect” and others) never break-

The cast of “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” from left: Heidi Cloutier, Julia Wiseman, Madison Mayer and Isabelle Archer. COURTESY PHOTO

ing character or missing a dance step. They harmonized and danced in unison just like the girl groups of the era. Wow! They put on quite a show!

Wilder, director and musical director, and choreog- rapher Hutchinson worked magic with this foursome along with a great support team: Matthew Kohler (set and lighting design, technical director), J Hagenbuckle (sound design), Frances Covais Lautenberger (costume design) and Nina Schuessler (producing artistic director). The band (Wilder, keyboard; Dick Stocks, guitar; Ryder Corey, saxophone; and Evan Eldredge, drums) is terrific too. Behind the scenes keeping it all together and making it all look good were stage manager/light board operator Anne Leigh Mcfarlane and crew Kyra Brimdyr.

This is a show you’ll want to see more than once. March

can be a dreary month; chase those winter doldrums away and get your tickets today.

DETAILS:

“The Marvelous Wonderettes”
At Cape Cod Theatre Company, Home of the Harwich Junior Theatre
Through March 31, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. Information and reservations: 508-432-2002 ext. 2, www.capecodtheatrecompany.org