If there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s that when you walk through the doors of the Retro Dome in San Jose, you’re going to have fun. Check any pretense, drama, and angst at the door and don’t forget to pack your crackers, because the dome is home to cheesy, light, theatrical fare. They do silly, carefree, nostalgic entertainment and they do it well.
Shout! The Mod Musical is enjoying its 2nd anniversary after last years excellent run and having seen the show on Saturday, I can see why they brought this show back. The script is sparse and is basically there to allow the 5 lovely ladies of the cast opportunities to breathe between showcasing their talents and a collection of songs that are indeed, A Sign of the Times.
I’m much too young to have been alive during the 1960’s and so it was a nice introduction for me to the era. As only a few of the songs were familiar I wasn’t expecting to leave humming the music but, it happened. Once home, a quick stop to Pandora.com to set up a Petula Clark station proved me the next big fan of primarily Anthony Peter Hatch penned melodies. Many of the songs have a wonderful conversational as well as commentating quality (I am reminded of Paul Simon’s trademark lyricism) and served to move the “plot” forward and give our girls more dimension.
And speaking of our girls, these ladies embody their Mod Brit stereotypes with gusto. I was really pleased to see a diverse age range as well as body type represented in this cast. Curvy women don’t get to perform in sexy (but tasteful and era appropriate) dresses nearly enough in my opinion and the choreography (again, tasteful and era appropriate) worked with the strengths of the actresses.
The women belt and blend well and I had no complaints at all with the vocal quality. The acoustics are pretty consistent as well, which is not easy to do in that space. Although not a gut buster, there was a steady stream of chuckles throughout and it was the perfect length, not too short, not to long. This piece as a whole is simply…groovy.
I don’t typically give away plot points or name names in my reviews, so I’ll simply mention two hints of specific deserved accolades: 1) If I could purchase Son of a Preacher Man as performed by this cast, on iTunes, I would and 2) I will never be able to listen to the James Bond Theme the same way, ever again. In a good way.
The Retro Dome plays host to a variety of films (including double features, cult classic, blockbusters from the 60’s -10’s, and sing-a-longs) theatre, and concerts most days of the week and is even available to rent for private events. It’s a unique venue as at ease at providing a great family outing as it is a girls-night-out or super fun date night. A Labyrinth and Dark Crystal DF is on the calendar later this month, now 1986 is more my Retro!
And so, this totally mod Princess (The Gold Girl) gives this production a groovy 4 out of 5 jewels in the tiara. Grab your gogo boots, your big hair, and your brightly colored mini dresses and get your Union Jack A** to this show. Shout! plays through September 18th at the Retro Dome.