Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Midvale's 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is Hilarious!

Aaron Ford as Leaf Coneybear, Erica Smith as Logainne SchwartzandGrubbeinerre, Mary Nelson as Marcy Park, Michael Howell as William Barfee, Garrett Grigg as Chip Tolentino, McKenzie Heaton as Olive Ostrovsky. (spellings may be off)

Last Friday night I got to see an absolutely enchanting show at the Midvale Main Street Theatre. 

I auditioned for the show and I spent a weekend listening to the music, watching youtube videos, and preparing for the callbacks. Before that weekend, I really wasn't familiar with the show.  As I watched and listened, I fell in love with this beautiful show about the confidence and insecurities of those preteen years. The pressures, the needs, the horrors, the delight! I laughed and cried all day long. 

Michelle Dodge as Rona Lisa Peretti and Jourdan Dixon as Douglas Panache
I really wanted to be in the show. But alas, another very qualified woman got the part I wanted.  Of course, I cried my eyes out because you do that sometimes as actors. We weep to the heavens and wish we could play these amazing parts. Having shared that, I was absolutely delighted with Michelle Dodge's performance. In real life, she IS a jr. high teacher. She sang beautifully. She was an anchor for the craziness around her, and I loved her improv! I loved her performance! She and Jourdan Dixon absolutely won over audiences with their improvised banter. 

My brother Matthew came with me to the show. He's been doing improv for over ten years and he raved about Jourdan's performance. This is high praise folks.

Carolyn Crow as Trish Mahoney

The comfort counselor is usually played by a man named Mitch, but I loved Carolyn's performance as Trish Mahoney. It was spot on. I swear, I never stopped laughing during this show--except for that one time I was bawling during the one song that always makes me bawl.  You know what song I'm talking about and if you don't--you better go see this show because it is worth every penny just to see that amazing song! McKenzie Heaton, Garrett Grigg, and Michelle Dodge--I love you! (hint hint, nudge nudge... knowwhatimean...)

There are no words to describe Aaron Ford's performance as Leaf Coneybear. 

I invite a comparison to the original Leaf Coneybear as played on Broadway. 

 Jesse Tyler Ferguson was pretty dang brilliant. 

But Aaron Ford... oh for the love of Pete.. the man made me laugh so hard. 

I'm glad that the world is filled with men who are talented enough and crazy enough to play this part. 

It makes me very happy.

Big kudos to the whole cast for finding a perfect balance of individual strength and ensemble in their performances. They came together beautifully in the music (directed by Colyn Quinn) and the dancing (choreographed by Aaron Ford). Tammy Ross's direction served the story well. I loved  the show!

 The show only runs three more nights. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Shows start at 7pm. My suggestion to you is to try and see the show Thursday night since Friday and Saturdays fill up super fast. 

Midvale Main Street Theatre is located at 7711 S Main St (700 West). You can visit their website at www.midvaletheatre.com for more information. 

(I'm going to press publish and wish I could gush more about each performance, but honestly, just go and see the show. Take my word for it and go and see the show. Then you can tell all your friends about how Garrett Grigg's performance as Chip cracked you up--or how Mary Nelson's Marcy was spot on, or how Erica Smith was both militant and endearing. Or how Olive and William's friendship was so tender. Okay... pressing publish now.)

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