I can’t think of a more pleasant way to spend a couple of hours than to watch five talented people sing an evening of musical works from the vast store of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The brilliant composer and lyricist together are responsible for eleven musical plays, one movie and one teleplay. What they did from Oklahoma! on helped to change the face of musical theater.
Rodgers was a fount of musical invention. Hammerstein’s lyrics, for the most part, are each a short play in and of themselves. This is a skill that he passed on to his protégé Stephen Sondheim. It is the job of those interpreting the songs to find the subtext and play the emotion in each piece. Katelyn Ann Mullen was spectacularly successful in such numbers as The Gentleman is a Dope, I Cain’t Say No, and Something Wonderful. Nancy Kadwill (one of my personal favorite actresses) did as well in I Have Dreamed, In My Own Little Corner, and especially in A Cockeyed Optimist.
The handsome, tall Michael McGeehan showed off his fine voice, especially in Younger Than Springtime. He and soprano Lisa Rawus were cute and effective in their duet sequence consisting of An Ordinary Couple, Don’t Marry Me and When The Children Are Asleep. Ms Rawus’s voice is good but the over-miking in the higher notes didn’t show her at her best.
Baritone John Corkum had the hardest task of all. His songs were laden with emotion. He was at his best in the Soliloquy and Lonely Room. All of the five part harmonies were right on and a pleasure to hear.
I’m not sure that A Puzzlement from King And I works without the original syntax. The lyrics seemed strange to me anglicized.
This show is better suited to a more intimate setting. It has the feel of a Cabaret and would benefit from proximity of the audience. The lack of continuity in the script is more than offset by the selection of pieces.
An on stage two piano team consisting of Musical Director Ken Brown and Kathryn Gray provided fine accompaniment to the performance. Director Jeannette Patey moved the singers into many pleasing patterns and kept the pace up pretty much. The color patterns of the set and the sound were well done by Tom Dinnella and Ray DiSandro.
The sparse audience was appreciative, but The Shannondell Performing Arts Theater holds a great many more patrons. Treat yourself to SOME ENCHANTED EVENING with R & H and The Methacton Community Theater.
SOME ENCHANTED EVENING
Music by Richard Rodgers and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Directed by Jeannette Patey
May 13 – 22, 2011
Methacton Community Theater
at Shannondell Performing Arts Theater
10000 Shannondell Blvd