Theater review

‘A Grand Night For Singing’ is perfectly grand, indeed

Mon, 08/12/2019 - 3:45pm

Story Location:
2 Theater Street
Damariscotta  Maine  04544
United States

Bravo Lincoln County Community Theater! 

LCCT’s latest production, “A Grand Night for Singing - The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein” was a delight from start to finish. Honestly, I could have listened to more songs and watched more dancing and those fun vignettes within some of the love songs - for at least another hour. Yes, they’re love songs – from R&H’s “Cinderella” to the  “The King and I,”  “South Pacific” and “Pipe Dream” to “Flower Drum Song,” “Oklahoma!” and “State Fair!” But the songs are not just of the romantic love ilk, they’re songs of young parents, couples still together into their senior years, lost love, unrequited love ...

LCCT performers are well known for their theatrical and musical appearances in the Midcoast, but this show in particular features many familiar faces around the Boothbay region! Who, you ask? Let’s start with Emily and Nick Mirabile, Soren and Emily Sue Barker, Robo Bishop, Emerson Harris, Sarah Harris, Spencer Pottle, Harrison Pierpan (from Bristol, he’s a Y-Arts Music Theater Camp counselor in training and a member of the Y-Arts competition team); and Joel Biron.

In addition to singing herself, Emily Mirabile also choreographed and directed these amazing and talented not-from-Boothbay performers: Andy Barber, Jane Bertelsen, Laurie Brown, Andrew Fenniman, Taylor Fish, Victoria Hamilton, Joseph Lugosch, Carissa McCurdy (you might remember her from the Carousel Music Theater), Nina Tilander and Natalie Wright.

A musical presentation is only as good as its musicians and this orchestra, directed by John Mulcahy at the piano, is outstanding. They are Marcus Hutchins of Southport, reeds; April Reed Cox, cello; Sean Fleming, harp synthesizer; Asher Barreras, bass; and John Mehrmann, percussionist.

Like I said, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every song ... but, and you know what’s coming .. there are always favorites. Now, “The Surrey With the Fringe On Top” also began one of the running vignettes between Joe and Taylor. He’s proposing an outing in his fab surrey as a first date. A few songs later, Taylor is singing “Can’t Say No” and she’s fantastic as she laments to two friends, “What’s a girl to do?” Their courtship takes a permanent turn when during “Some Enchanted Evening” a marriage proposal is accepted.

And the triangle between Emily Sue, Soren and Robo, the second ongoing storyline, is a hoot and a half. The whole company ends up joining them in “Shall We Dance” – but not before Soren and Robo get you going with laughter.

Victoria’s “The Gentleman Is A Dope” from “Allegro” is so perfect, delivered with honest emotion. Same goes for Andrew’s “Love, Look Away” and Andy’s “This Nearly Was Mine.”

“Dont’ Marry Me” sung to Emily Sue by Robo, Soren, Nick and Joe is a hoot – and how could it miss with these four natural born entertainers? Emily, Caarissa and Victoria singing “Many A New Day” and “Wash That Man” are just mah-vel-ous, darlings; and “Kansas City” sung by Emily, Joel, Victoria, Andrew, Nina and Carissa is as fun to listen to and watch as it surely is for them to perform. Same goes for the company song and dance number “Honey Bun.”

Emily writes in her director’s notes: “By taking these songs out of the context of the shows they were originally written for we allow our actors to look for what these lyrics and melodies mean to them ...”

And, while you’re attending this show, I know you’ll find yourself doing likewise.

The final four performances of “A Grand Night For Singing” are Thursday, Aug. 15 and Friday, Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 17, two shows at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20/adult - $18/theater members and $5 for youth 18 and under. The Lincoln Theater, if  you’ve never been there before, is at 2 Theater St. in Damariscotta.

To LCCT and all of the fabulous singer-actors in this show I say ... Encore! Encore!