Eight female vocalists (Jillian Austin, Malia Blunt, Evelyn Connors, Breonna Dobbs, Cherity Harchis, Nakaze Harris, Kaci Machacyk and Isabella Rooks) in matching Carnaby Street-inspired minidresses, beehive wigs with bows (some even sported “Cutex white-frosted nail polish,”) shine joyfully with 1960’s dances and songs we all know. Sweet honey from these “Bees” awaits you.
They move smoothly through the Twist, Swim, Mashed Potato, Watusi, Pony, Frug and Freddie.
Wearing wigs that are teased, sprayed and ratted into iconic “beehives” (originally designed by a Chicago hairstylist to represent the “new busy-bee woman”) they lead the audience in an opening singalong, “The Name Game.”
Immediately, we are back under our Sears bed-covers with a transistor radio, soaking sounds and clinging to new mod-wave styles, to be “in.”
This rousing musical revue of the “female sound” of the ’60s started off-off-Broadway. Written by Larry Gallagher (a New York City talent agent who passed away too soon) this musical ranges from 1960, when Sandra Dee was engaged to Bobby Darin, to 1969, with Woodstock flower-power children.
“Beehive: The ’60s Musical” is a nostalgic look backward at the wigged-out rapidly evolving USA 1960s. (Historians even divide these times into 3 distinct eras.)
It’s also a romp through styles of the decade. The cast portrays every “queen” from busty Annette Funicello (boombada-boombada) to boozy, beaded trailblazer Janis Joplin.
There’s Lesley Gore sobbing, It’s My Party (and I’ll Cry If I Want To) Connie Francis plaintively wondering Where the Boys Are.
Tina Turner (Jillian Austin) burned down the house with Proud Mary in a searingly accurate sweet, haute-sexy Tina.
The young teen-narrator was as polished as any actress can be and threaded the whole thing together with élan.
I’d like to know how amazing Director/Choreographer E. Wayne Worley and Musical Director Susan Easter pulled this “all new faces” cast together so superbly. I can’t credit hairspray for that!
Ron Lindblom’s sets are always historically detailed, deeply pleasing, uncluttered and functional. Count on Ginny Adams for the right mood and light!
Sandy Stein must have had his hands full with eight head-mikes under rapidly changing 40 different wigs! Great sound balanced with band, dancers’ movements and acoustics.
My dream is this cast finds a permanent downtown home and runs BEEHIVE, Forever! We need this. We need these uplifting memories and renewed hope.
Beehive Band rocked steady all night long with Manuel Gamazo, Michael Westlake, Ryne Weir, with Director Susan Easter.
Las Vegas Little Theatre is the Vegas Valley’s longest running community theatre started by Jack Ball and Jack Nicholson.
Get your “polyester on” at lvlt.org at BEEHIVE through July 30th. 702-362-7996. Located at Valley View and Spring Mountain, on Schiff Drive.
(A plus: 60 restaurants within a minute’s walk in any direction).
Young-ones, bring your parents to this gift from their era.
Marianne Donnelly reviews theatre, travel and film and can be reached be email at firstname.lastname@example.org.