Fresh on the heels of the highly successful musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Show Palace Dinner Theatre is launching its first-ever regular season doo-wop show, this one a mix of 1950s and '60s classics and a story written especially for the theater by show director Larry Alexander called Book of Love, a Doo Wop Romance.
The show, which opens Friday and runs through June 16, features the tale of three soldiers returning from war to Brooklyn, where they find good jobs, sweet love and lots of romantic songs sung in "stacked" harmonies created by street corner singers.
Doo-wop legend Tommy Mara (he actually tours nationally with the Legends of Doo Wop) is the musical director/vocal coach with Megan Morgan (Busch Gardens, Hairspray, Joseph/Dreamcoat dance captain) doing the choreography and playing the role of Barbara Anne.
The 15-member cast includes several Show Palace veterans, as well as several newcomers. Among those returning are Justin Lore (New York Nights, Joseph/Dreamcoat) as Bill; Val Roche (Narrator in Joseph) as Betty; Gabrielle Mirabella (Velma in Hairspray) as Phyllis; Timothy Springs (Duane in Hairspray) as singer; Anthony Fett (Butler in Joseph) as singer; Ashley Rubin (Joseph) ensemble; Lindsay Nantz (Penny in Hairspray) ensemble; and Miss Morgan.
The show is filled with more than two dozen doo-wop, R & B and pop tune favorites, many of them on Rolling Stone magazine's list of all-time great songs.
At least a couple of those songs have direct ties to the Show Palace: Peppermint Twist, made famous by Joey Dee & the Starliters in 1961 and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, the 1960 No. 1 tune by the Shirelles, the first girl group in history to win that coveted spot. Joey Dee himself will bring his band to the Show Palace on Nov. 23; the lead singer of the Shirelles, Shirley Alston-Reeves, performed at the Show Palace in 2001.
Other favorites featured in the show will be the title tune made famous by the Montones, Book of Love; the Skyliners' Since I Don't Have You; the Drifters' 1963 hit, On Broadway; the Penguins' 1954 classic, Earth Angel; and the Moonglows' 1954 hit later made even more famous by the McGuire Sisters, Sincerely.
The show also has Da Do Ron Ron, He's a Rebel, Mama Said, I Only Have Eyes for You, and Leader of the Pack, among others.
The show "comes to the conclusion that with hard work and lots of good music, the American Dream can come true," said Jennifer Mara, marketing director.