The Other Oliver!
Broadway musical medley is rough-around-the-edges but redeeming.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The Bruce Ariss Wharf Theater’s Broadway visits 14 Broadway musicals, from Oklahoma! to Oliver!, with inventive vignettes, costume changes, one-man orchestra George Peterson, a versatile set and props, and a whole heap of enthusiasm. Where the production falls short on polish, it makes up with other delights and curiosities, like theater vet Guido Scarato’s rosy-cheeked, David Lynchian turn as Cabaret’s Wilkommen as he introduces the racy ladies of the Kit Kat Klub. One such “lady” was Rhyan Sanders, in Lypsinka-worthy drag; another was Erin Helm, a stunner of a performer who exuded a Julie Andrews brand of grace—with a voice as daring as a circus acrobat. Her considerable role is now filled by Michelle Boulware (Evita, Kiss Me Kate), whose classically trained voice adds refinement to the affair. Tanner Braeden Gray, 9, nearly nabbed the title role in PacRep’s Oliver!, and here does an Oliver who’s precocious, with flashes of the pipes that won him last Thursday’s KWAV Talent Search competition at the Monterey County Fair. Gray has performed with local stalwart Keith Wolhart, who displays range, likeability and a melodramatic power in Phantom. This is fun, rollicking “community” theater.
BROADWAY runs 8pm Thu, 8:30pm Fri-Sat and 3:30pm Sun, until Aug. 30, at Bruce Ariss Wharf Theater, Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey. $25/adult; $10/child 12 and under. 649-2332, 372-1373.