The term ‘Bittersweet’ is just about as oxymoronic as it gets, but attending our foreseeably final evening at Stage West’s cabaret theatre, it was sweet…and it was bitter. Walking through the halls between box office and theatre entrance, the visiting celebs’ photographs that we had met, socialized with, critiqued and enjoyed seem to look especially sombre for a P.R. shot!
The Phil George/ David Lowenstein creation – “SHOUT”, has virtually no plot.
It needs no scenery and except for 8 props and era-reflecting costumes; it’s just the five ladies – almost in recital. The title is the supposed name of a British magazine with advice for the young woman, i.e. Cosmo™ but with a stiff upper lip! Based on its hints or recommendations; the quintet present the pop songs of the sixties without pause and at a frenetic pace.
We’ve previously written about the talents of Louise Camilleri; Laura Mae Nason; Erica Peck; Stephanie Pitsiladis and Amanda Struthmann from previous Stage West performances or other venues. All can sing; act, dance and project character personality. They all do so in Shout with a slight nod to Camilleri who gives a little extra sell to her solo opportunities. There are over two dozen songs listed in the playbill and to O.F.’s like the muse and I; all are familiar enough that not joining in with the lyrics is a challenge.
We’re already in withdrawal mode about the closure of the theatre. We attend about 200 events each year, but the opening-night performance at Stage West was always something special. Schmoozing with our media counterparts; meeting the performers post-curtain and the sense of camaraderie & welcome shown by the theatre staff was and is something unique. The thespian offerings were top rate; the dining selections varied and always interesting.
As Stephanie sang, rather than just another mundane line in O.A.R. “I’d rather write across the sky in letters that would soar 1,000 feet high” …Say it’s just an interval – not a curtain.
Otherwise -30 –