Song and dance is superb in CLO's 'Seven Brides'
By Carol Waterloo Frazier
Published: Friday, June 14, 2013, 1:36 a.m.
If you're looking for a way to turn a ho-hum day into a “Wonderful Day,” take a journey back in time to the Pacific Northwest in the 1850s.
That's easy to do at the Benedum Center as Civic Light Opera presents the song-and-dance gem, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” The show continues through Sunday.
Those who enjoy musical theater because of the singing will not be disappointed, and those who enjoy the dancing will be wowed. The high-energy production numbers are amazing and the dancers don't miss a beat.
Based on the short story “The Sobbin' Women” by Stephen Vincent Benet, the tale first was told via a 1954 movie. “Seven Brides” made its Broadway debut in 1982. The musical tells the story of seven brothers living in the Pacific Northwest who decide their oldest sibling should get married. What follows is a comic — with a few serious moments — unfolding of events that involves dancing, kidnapping, courting and marriage.
Taking center stage are George Dvorsky as Adam and Mamie Parris as his bride Milly. Dvorsky shines as the older brother charged with taking care of his siblings. His character's naive yet stubborn mindset shines through on show-opener “Bless Your Beautiful Hide” and the powerful “Where Were You?” Parris portrays Milly beautifully, letting her feelings come to the forefront on tunes such as “Wonderful Day” and “I Married Seven Brothers.” They are believable as a young couple and he does a great job coming to grips with his misguided thinking.
Doing a good job portraying the brides are Sarah Blodgett as Alice, Andrea Weinzierl as Dorcas, Keely Beirne as Ruth, Jonalyn Saxer as Liza, Ashley Kasunich as Martha and Isabelle McCalla as Sarah.
Playing the Pontipee brothers are Callan Bergmann as Gideon, Alex Michael Stoll as Benjamin, Brian Steven Shaw as Caleb, Scott Brateng as Daniel, David Paul Kidder as Ephraim and Gavin Stewart as Frank. They are good vocally, their acting is superb and their dancing is very strong. They were great with Parris in “Goin' Courtin'” and together in “We've Gotta Make it Through the Winter.” The couple scenes with Dvorsky and Bergmann are good, especially on “A Woman Ought to Know Her Place.”
The suitors are played by Lucas Fedele as Jeb, Michael Greer as Carl, Jesse Carrey-Beaver as Luke, Rodney Earl Jackson Jr. as Matt, Max Clayton as Joel and Connor McRory as Zeke. Like the brothers, they are excellent dancers.
CLO veterans Paul Palmer portrays the preacher, Jeffrey Howell is Mr. Bixby and Peter Matthew Smith is Mr. Perkins. Halle Surgil and Lucia Williams round out the cast.
This show will have you tappin' your toes and having a good time. For a couple hours, “Seven Brides” whisks theater-goers away to the mountains and away from the troubles of the day. Whether you're looking for top-notch singing, dancing or acting, the show does not disappoint.
Carol Waterloo Frazier is an editor for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-664-9161 ext. 1916, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 5 Operation Pork Chop defendants sentenced to 5 years probation
- Serra Catholic High School friary to house foreign students
- Steel Valley Bicycle Tour will raise funds for trail maintenance
- McKeesport student to celebrate Jackie Robinson’s legacy
- Crews fill Duquesne sinkhole
- 2 key Operation Pork Chop defendants delay pleas
- Officials in North Versailles fed up with littering
- West Mifflin public works lauded for efforts
- Markosek supports McCord for governor
- Number of Mon-Yough municipalities collecting own garbage is shrinking
- East Allegheny counselors receive national recognition