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Edited and Published by Robert W. McDowell

September 8, 2022 Issue
PART 3 (September 9, 2022)

A FREE Weekly E-mail Newsletter Covering Theater, Dance, Music, and Film in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill/Carrboro Area of North Carolina Since April 2001.

PART 3A: TRIANGLE THEATER REVIEW BY ROBERT O'CONNELL

Beehive:  The  60's  Musical  at  the  Temple
 Theatre  of  Sanford  Is  an  Absolute Delight


The Temple Theatre of Sanford will stage Larry Gallagher's Beehive: The 60's Musical on Sept. 8-11, 15-18, and 22-25

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending Beehive: The 60's Musical, a joyous retrospective of hit songs of the 1960's and our lifetime by female singers and girl groups. The opening show of the 2022-23 season at the Temple Theatre of Sanford, Beehive: The 60's Musical is an absolute delight, and the perfect opportunity to expose your kids and grandkids to an impactful and empowering era in our music and our history.

I was impressed at every level by this production of Beehive: The 60's Musical. I was expecting a lightweight jukebox musical, but this show exceeded those expectations in every way. The show depicts six stellar singer/actresses performing over 40 songs originally performed by the great girl groups and legendary female solo artists of the turbulent decade of the 1960's.

Arya Scarlet, Hailey Best, Kaila Symone Crowder, Arya Scarlet, Akili Holder-Cozart, and Kelsey Wilson open in an ensemble number, all wearing satin jackets and formidable beehive-hairdo wigs. Behind them onstage, as a kind of backing group, are The Honeybees (more on them later).


The Temple Theatre of Sanford will stage Larry Gallagher's Beehive: The 60's Musical on Sept. 8-11, 15-18, and 22-25

The cast spends the next third of the show in period costumes as young women fanaticizing about their favorite music and belting out tune after tune, mostly harmonizing a la The Chiffons, The Shirelles, and The Ronettes. Costume designer Kimberly Brown was spot on with a cheerleader outfit, pedal pushers, a polka-dot crinoline dress, and a parochial school outfit.

What really stood out from this sextet was their incredible voice work. They were powerful and passionate in every number. This was demonstrated in the next third of the show when the costumes switched from timely to showy as the cast moved into the middle of the decade and performed as groups such as The Supremes and individuals such as Leslie Gore, Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, and Lulu. Included in all of the numbers was wonderful choreography as well. The cast were as smooth as dancers as they were as singers.

Gavan Pamer serves as a triple threat as the show's director, choreographer, and music director. If that is not enough, Gavan will be starring in Murder for Two, next month's show at the Temple Theatre!

The musical numbers were also interspersed with some historical content from this turbulent time. This look at assassinations, civil rights, and the Vietnam War added to the tone a nd changes in the music. The second act opened with a rousing set of Tina Turner with extremely high energy, followed with three of the women channeling Aretha Franklin, who was then followed by Arya Scarlet absolutely bringing down the house as Janis Joplin.

Getting back to The Honeybees, this may have impressed me the most. The four backup singers rarely left the stage and sang in nearly every song. They were Scotland Hawes, Eevah Noe-lah Joseph, Bella Miller, and Ashley Montijo. The four are members of the Temple Teen Ensemble and are all attending local high schools.

I spoke to Temple Theatre producing artistic director Peggy Taphorn during intermission. She described to me the incredible youth programs at Temple Theatre, culminating with the Teen Ensemble. The young ladies were remarkable on stage and even act as understudies for the main cast. It is a certainty that when you go see a show in the area in 5-10 years, these young performers will be in the main casts.

Not only do I highly recommend this show, but I also want to add my usual suggestion ... BRING YOUR KIDS! For the price of the next two Spider-Man movies, you can share with your family some incredible music, some history and a close-up, live performance that they will remember for a long time. They may even fall in love with theater.


The Temple Theatre of Sanford will stage Larry Gallagher's Beehive: The 60's Musical on Sept. 8-11, 15-18, and 22-25

I'd like to say a bit about the theater itself. It is about a century old, but is as clean and comfortable as can be. It is 30-60 minutes from most of the Triangle and is an easy ride. There are a bit over 300 seats, and there is not a bad one in the house.

The staff was professional and extremely friendly. There were plenty of available seats for the show that I attended, so I'm sure you can find one for this absolutely must-see event. You will not be sorry, and you may be inspired to support this wonderful venue again and again. I will.


The Temple Theatre of Sanford will stage Larry Gallagher's Beehive: The 60's Musical on Sept. 8-11, 15-18, and 22-25

Larry Gallagher's BEEHIVE: THE 60's MUSICAL (In Person at 2 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8-11, 15-18, 22-25), directed and choreographed by music director Gavan Pamer, and starring Hailey Best as Alison, Kaila Symone Crowder as Jasmine, Akili Holder-Cozart as Gina, Deanna Richards as Wanda Arya Scarlet as Laura, and Kelsey Wilson as Pattie, plus an Ensemble that includes Scotland Hawes, Eevah Noe-lah Joseph, Bella Miller, and Ashley Montijo (Temple Theatre of Sanford). VIDEOS: https://www.youtube.com/user/templetheatrenc. 2022-23 MAIN-STAGE SEASON: http://templeshows.com/#mainstage. THE PRESENTER/VENUE: http://templeshows.com/, https://www.facebook.com/TempleTheatreNC, https://www.instagram.com/TempleTheatreNC/, https://twitter.com/TempleTheatreNC/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Theatre_(Sanford,_North_Carolina), and https://www.youtube.com/user/templetheatrenc. DIRECTIONS: http://templeshows.com/contact. COVID-19 GUIDELINES: http://templeshows.com/tickets/temple-theatre-covid-guidelines. THE MUSICAL: https://stageagent.com/shows/musical/19339/beehive-the-1960s-musical and http://www.iobdb.com/Production/1329. THE LIBRETTIST: https://stageagent.com/writers/12614/larry-gallagher, http://www.iobdb.com/CreditableEntity/10819, and http://www.doollee.com/PlaywrightsG/gallagher-larry.php. NOTE: All shows are wheelchair accessible, and there is a hearing-loop system is available for all devices with T-coil wireless receivers. TICKETS: $29 ($17 students and $27 active-duty military personnel and Lee County educators), plus taxes and fees, except $27 per person for groups of 10 or more. Click here to buy tickets. GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): http://templeshows.com/tickets#id-928. INFORMATION: 919-774-4155 or boxoffice@templeshows.org. PLEASE DONATE TO: Temple Theatre of Sanford.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Robert O'Connell is a playwright, and has had dozens of productions and awards throughout the world. He has a MS degree in Management Systems Analysis. A lifelong educator, O'Connell has also published three novels at http://www.flashmobthenovel.com/ and two humor anthologies from his blog, https://thesmartestguyiknow.wordpress.com/. He and his wife have settled in Cary, NC.

 


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