Sunday, July 15, 2018
Stage

Brothers step in for missing sisters in 'The Andrews Brothers' at Show Palace

HUDSON — It's 1945 on a small Pacific island, and hundreds of GIs are getting ready to ship out for a major battle the following morning. But before they do, they're going to get a bang-up send-off by a big USO show, starring pinup girl Peggy Jones and the world famous singing Andrews Sisters.

Only one thing: The Andrews Sisters are nowhere to be seen, and it's only a couple of hours before the show is supposed to start. That means no rehearsal and perhaps no show.

That's the setup for The Andrews Brothers, a musical playing June 4 through July 3 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

Perhaps as disappointed as the GIs is Peggy (Andrea Wright, Norwegian Cruise Lines), who was looking forward to making her big stage debut with the Andrews Sisters. That's when the three Andrews brothers, stagehands who have been traveling with and doing setups for the famous sisters, volunteer to rehearse with Peggy so she'll be ready when her big chance comes. The boys are all 4F, so they're doing their part helping with shows, and they know all the Andrews Sisters' songs.

There's flat-footed Max (Christoff Marse, Zach in A Chorus Line), who can sing the parts usually sung by Maxene; asthmatic Patrick (Matty Colonna, Lucas in The Addams Family), who can sing Patty's parts, and nearsighted Lawrence (Marc Ciemiewicz, Show Palace debut), who can fill in as LaVerne.

Peggy rehearses her opening act numbers (Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet), and the guys join her for some warm-up numbers. As often happens in stage musicals, Peggy quickly falls madly in love with Patrick and plots to get the other two brothers out of the picture so she can have him all alone (Slow Boat to China). Moments later, Lawrence and Max return with the bad news The real Andrews Sisters have been quarantined because of an outbreak of chickenpox. Will that mean no show?

Of course not, especially after Peggy catches the guys gussied up in the Andrews Sisters' costumes, singing the Andrews Sisters' songs. Why not be the Andrews Sisters for just one night — after all, it's to cheer up the boys who are going off to war.

That's when the high jinks start. Will the GIs get wise to the imposters? And what about Patrick's wheezing and sneezing? And will sight-challenged Lawrence fall off the stage? What about flat-footed Max's ability to swing and sway?

The Los Angeles Times said the show is "Pleasingly silly! No-holds-barred goofiness." It's likely to bring back good memories for veterans once entertained by USO performers.

For this special show, the Show Palace is bringing in a three-piece live band to accompany the 25 tunes in the show, said Jennifer Mara, business manager of the theater. The director/choreographer is Jared E. Walker, who played Gomez in The Addams Family and Vince Fontaine in Grease at the Show Palace. The music director is William Coleman, who just relocated to the Tampa Bay area from Oklahoma City, where he was co-director of a children's theater program for 15 years.

Comments
What’s on stage this week: ‘Bad Jews,’ ‘Red,’ ‘It Shoulda Been You’

What’s on stage this week: ‘Bad Jews,’ ‘Red,’ ‘It Shoulda Been You’

AMERICAN STAGE: BAD JEWSWe know that death draws family members closer together. Except when it drives them further apart. A grandfather’s valuable heirloom shifts relatives from grief to competition, questions about who was closer to the deceased an...
Published: 07/11/18
Paul Reiser on 'Mad About You' revival: 'My guess is it won't happen'

Paul Reiser on 'Mad About You' revival: 'My guess is it won't happen'

Paul Reiser has some bad news for Mad About You fans hoping for a series revival. "It’s kind of stuck in the business end of it now," the comic, actor and co-creator of NBC’s Emmy-winning sitcom said by phone Monday. "Sony is trying to f...
Published: 07/10/18
Review: Confident brush strokes paint an eminently watchable ‘Red’ at Heather Theatre

Review: Confident brush strokes paint an eminently watchable ‘Red’ at Heather Theatre

TAMPA — You can always count on the Heather Theatre to do one thing. And that is to produce meaningful plays, and find within each the burning ember that gives off heat and light.So it is again with Red, John Logan’s deconstruction of a brilliant art...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/10/18
This week on stage: ‘Cinderella,’ ‘So Long Life,’ American Stage previews ‘Bad Jews’

This week on stage: ‘Cinderella,’ ‘So Long Life,’ American Stage previews ‘Bad Jews’

THE BALL IS BACK: CINDERELLAThe national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella comes with flamboyant colors, ebullient music and lavish costumes."My favorite song is a huge ball scene at the end of Act 1, when Ella and the prince fall in love ...
Published: 07/05/18
St. Petersburg Opera finishes season with an energetic ‘The Music Man’

St. Petersburg Opera finishes season with an energetic ‘The Music Man’

ST. PETERSBURG — Musically, the creative team behind the St. Petersburg Opera’s season-ending musical, The Music Man, were clearly going all out. Meredith Willson’s paean to small-town Americana outdid West Side Story in the 1958 To...
Published: 07/02/18
This week on stage: Cindy Williams in Menopause the Musical, The Music Man at St. Petersburg Opera

This week on stage: Cindy Williams in Menopause the Musical, The Music Man at St. Petersburg Opera

STRAZ CENTER: MENOPAUSE THE MUSICALCindy Williams has made a career of saying yes. When producer Garry Marshall asked Williams and Penny Marshall, his sister, to parlay the success of their roles in Happy Days into a spin-off series, Williams agreed....
Updated one month ago
Parody and theater trivia combine in Freefall’s light-hearted of ‘Musical of Musicals’

Parody and theater trivia combine in Freefall’s light-hearted of ‘Musical of Musicals’

ST. PETERSBURG — Forgive yourself if you recognize only a portion of the dozens of musicals being lampooned in The Musical of Musicals — The Musical!, Freefall Theatre’s season closer. This mash-up of the works of five celebrated composers reads like...
Updated one month ago
On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

On stage this week: Freefall Theatre’s ‘The Musical of Musicals,’ Jay Pharoah

SENDUP: MUSICAL OF MUSICALSFive composers, a talented cast, choreography by Cheryl Lee and music directed by Michael Raabe — that’s Freefall Theatre’s recipe for a laugh-filled, season-ending summer musical, appropriately titled The Musical of Musica...
Updated one month ago
Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

TAMPA — The virtues of Dancing at Lughnasa, with which Jobsite Theater closes its season, are many. This drama by the celebrated Brian Friel opened in 1990 to much acclaim. It captures a family’s joys and sadnesses, and the quickness with which one s...
Updated one month ago