CenterStage, on the cusp of Dash Point and Federal Way, has mounted a classic farce, “Lend Me a Tenor”. If you like mistaken identities, slamming doors, racing around, pratfalls, great costumes, and very good actors, you’ll enjoy this production. Come to think of it, it sounds like a Shakespeare production, doesn’t it?
There were eight singers and a fantastic band for "It's Only Rock and Soul" at CenterStage. I was a little disappointed in the first act. Too many medleys for me, but the second act was absolutely wonderful. Peg enjoyed the first act more, so obviously there's no accounting for taste. The second act had stand out performances for each of the singers.
DuWayne Andrews, Jr was moving in "War, What is It Good For." I'd like to hear him do one verse as Ghandi. I think that would be funny. But DuWayne did a fantastic job throughout the performance and had some great dance moves as well.
"You're no good, you're no good, you're no good . . ." had the right amount of growl and sweetness combined. Trista Duval did such a great job. She had been lost of most of the other songs in back-up roles, but her solo was perfect. From the program notes I saw that she played in HMS Pinafore. I would like to see a reprise of that. I bet she was great.
Bobby Barnts seemed much better at singing than dancing. He needs to loosen up a bit for rock and roll. I think he's too use to opera, but he did a very nice job on two solos. I thought "Desperado" was excellent.
I always enjoy Stacie Calkins. I would love to see her performances as Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, and Billie Holiday. For "It's Only Rock and Soul," she made my day with "You Better Think" and "Respect."
I'm sorry that I missed "Tommy" at CenterStage. I bet that Jesse Smith was excellent as the lead character. Each time I see Jesse at CenterStage I'm always entertained. He moves and sings well.
"A Lighter Shade of Pale" is not how I would describe Ashanti Mangum, but she did an absolutely lovely rendition of the classic as her solo. I loved her in "Ain't Misbehavin'" a few years ago at CenterStage. Dancing in heels for "It's Only Rock and Soul" had to be hard on the feet, especially with those pointy toed shoes. For the standing ovation I enjoyed her two sons joining her on stage.
Zack Wheeler singing and dancing in "It's Only Rock and Soul" was quite a departure from his opera singing bellboy in "Lend Me a Tenor." He handles comedy well and does an incredible job in rock solo and duet roles.
Meg McLynn alone was worth the price of admission. As dance captain she popped, moved, stretched and posed well beyond the other cast members. Her energy never lacked through both acts. She never ran out of breath or steam. I wish she had included "Me and Bobby McGee" to her Janis Joplin tribute. Janis always screamed too much, Meg was much more in control and still delivered. I'm really, really sorry I missed her Patsy Cline show. Next time around, I'll be there.
We had a group of fourteen people attending the show. Most of them were new to the Theatre. I think we made some new friends for CenterStage. As Peg and I drove south for a Mother's Day dinner with our oldest son and his wife, we talked about the show and sang the songs we loved out of it.
Check out what's going on at CenterStage and buy your tickets for next year's season. The prices are excellent and the productions even better.