Yeah baby! ‘Shout! The Mod Musical’ invades Dillon
Summit Daily News
There were a few times while watching “Shout! The Mod Musical” at the Lake Dillon Theatre Wednesday night when I flashed back to age 5, sitting in the back seat of my mom’s Dodge Dart while Petula Clark wafted over the airwaves of WGBB on Long Island. With the rich lineup of 1960s pop in “Shout!”, anyone who was alive at any age in that decade is destined for a stroll down memory lane.
And a fun, brisk stroll it is. With four of the actresses from this summer’s repertory cast at the theater and one returning member from last summer, “Shout!” is a jukebox musical aimed directly at the part of us that loves a sappy song and a tune with a hook so deep no passage of years can dislodge it from memory. Light on plot, “Shout!” sets out with no greater goal than reminding us of some of those old Burt Bacharach and Tony Hatch songs that dominated AM radio even as the British Invasion of rock ‘n’ roll was in full force.
Key to it all is a wonderful quintet of versatile actresses who happen to be strong singers and great dancers. Never mind names, the five are identified only by the color of their short dresses: red, blue, orange, yellow and green. Part of the fun of “Shout!” is getting to know their distinct personalities through the songs they sing and how they respond to a few other gimmicks in the show: a hopelessly frumpy advice columnist and a newsman of sorts, both of whom appear to the girls only as part of the canned soundtrack.
As such, we learn Green Girl (Jacqueline Clydesdale) is a bit slutty; Red (Melanie Beck) is rather nerdy and awkward; Blue (Edlyn Gonzalez) is mod yet cold; Orange (Erin Edelle) is more mom than mod; and Yellow (Rhianna Pfannenstiel) is the chipper American wondering what she’s doing in London.
This terrific ensemble is a sort of dream team of talent, with Pfannenstiel leading with her tremendous voice, the hilarious Beck providing a lot of the comedy, the sure-footed Gonzalez (who choreographed the show) leading the dance, Clydesdale as more saucy comic relief and Edelle as a sort of grounding force for it all. And while each stands out in her own way, the reality is they’re all possessed of the full package of talent, and in the close confines of the Dillon theater, it’s an up-close chance to see some real pros at work.
“Shout!” is nominally about five young women navigating their way through the rocky shoals of the 1960s cultural revolution as seen from London. The mileposts are the songs of the era, however loosely they might apply. So when Yellow Girl is heartbroken to learn of Paul McCartney’s pending nuptials, she moves right into “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Petula Clark’s “Downtown” serves as balm for the girls’ souls as they search for meaning among the bad advice and messy cultural backdrop, while “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” makes its inevitable appearance as a statement of female power.
Part “Austin Powers,” part “Laugh In” and a ton of fun, “Shout!” is light as a soap bubble – the perfect capper to another strong summer of shows at the Lake Dillon Theatre Company.
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