Reviewed by Matt Ritchey
If you love 80’s music and want to get some brand new 80’s songs stuck in your head, fast-forward to the Actor’s Company Let Live Theater for 90 minutes of goofy, fun, touching, toe-tapping musical theater in the new Roze Broze Production of Rewind.
Rewind tells the story of a group of friends in 1985 all desperate to write a hit song for a Madonna-type pop star named Electra. Cookie (Megan Beard) works at Electra’s record company as an assistant and her producer/mentor Nigel (Nelson Hayne) suggests getting a hit song written by one of her many talented musician pals and thereby getting her foot in the door by getting Electra a new track.
Tommy (Chris Kerrigan), a down-on-his-luck rocker, is drowning his sorrows in denial and drugs and pushing away his girlfriend Gina (get it? Tommy and Gina? Halfway there? Livin’ on a Prayer? Seriously, this is a very 80’s show). Gina (Suzanne Slade) is working the diner all day and avoiding her complicated past when Darcy (Natalie Miller), a young country singer shows up looking for a gig. Spacy folk singer Mark (a great David Sasik) tries to get Tommy more involved in writing the Electra track, but it’s only when Ram (ball of energy Thomas Adoue Polk), an electronic music track genius, shows up that things really start moving. The show is wrapped in a “Wonderful Life-esque” ticking clock which adds a nice bit of drama when readdressed mid-story.
The entire cast is great, the music is unbelievably catchy, and the 90 minutes fly by with lighthearted scenes punctuated by real emotional moments. If there was a quibble to be had, it’s that the great music is necessarily subdued to make the un-miked actors audible in the space and that some of the transitional sections fall a bit flat when not underscored. But truly, this is nit-picking.
Written by 80’s pop songwriters Geoffrey and Sam Rose, Rewind is a well-directed (Nancy Dobbs Owen), unexpectedly touching, and downright fun musical with terrific acting, laughs, and songs you’ll be singing out the door.
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