2’s Review: “Beehive: The 60’s Musical”
FORT MYERS, Fla. —The Florida Repertory Theatre in downtown Fort Myers is celebrating girl power in a big way with “Beehive: The 60’s Musical” and the voices and orchestra are as big as the hairdos.
The performance is a knockout and takes the audience on a high-energy nostalgic trip throughout the turbulent 1960s. The show starts in 1960 highlighting the bubblegum music from the likes of Brenda Lee and Dusty Springfield.
From the moment the show opens, the incredible live orchestra consisting of the electric guitar, trumpet and drums to name a few, set the energy for the show. It’s so refreshing to hear a live band on the Florida Rep. stage.
Then the incredible voices take over as six talented women grace the stage with 27 different songs including It’s My Party, My Boyfriend’s Back and Bobby Mcgee to name just a few that keep the audience going.
The songs are performed with delight by actresses Elizabeth Adabale as Wanda, Natalie Brouwer as Alison, Renee Jackson as Jasmine, Bailey J. Reeves as Pattie, Maria Reginaldi as Laura and Tyler Symone as Gina.
This musical revue reveals the 60s as an age of innocence shattered with tragedy after the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy all reflected in the show which shows how music changed throughout the era from the cute little pink and turquoise dresses and bobby socks to flower power and baggy hippy clothes reminiscent of Janis Jopelin.
Playwright Larry Gallagher does a great job of touching on the challenges the nation faced and how those turbulent times changed the country’s music with the voices of Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and more.
A powerhouse performance that had the audience clapping and cheering was Elizabeth Abadale’s rendition of “Proud Mary” portrayed by the iconic Tina Turner. It was pure delight which had nearly everyone toe-tapping to the beat.
The costumes were also fun and spot on and reflected the fashions, and the choreography was pleasing as well. My only concern was at times the big orchestra had the potential to drown out those beautiful voices that blended so well.
Director Greg Longenhagen has yet another performance to be proud of along with an expert creative team along with set designer Bert Scott who makes you feel like you’re on the set of Laugh-In.
If you’re looking for a trip down memory lane with a concert-like atmosphere, this is a show you’re going to want to get tickets for before they’re sold out — and they are going fast as the Tuesday performance I attended was nearly sold out.
Tickets for Beehive can be purchased by calling Florida Rep Theatre at 239-332-4488. The show runs through January 28 and now includes Friday matinees.