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Actors Point’s “The Marvelous Wonderettes” celebrates the girl groups of the 1950s and '60s.


Actors Point Theatre Company is taking a stroll down memory lane with its current production of "The Marvelous Wonderettes." And though the story is slight, there's no denying the fun surrounding this charming show.

A lighthearted celebration of those nifty girl groups of the 1950s and '60s, "The Marvelous Wonderettes" opens in 1958. It's prom night at Springfield High School, and pals Missy, Suzy, Cindy Lou and Betty Jean have agreed to step in as a last-minute replacement for the evening's entertainment.

Featuring familiar tunes such as "Mr. Sandman," "Lollipop" and "It's My Party," "The Marvelous Wonderettes" provides a wonderful showcase for nonstop harmonies, with plenty of humor along the way. The second act picks up in 1968, with the Wonderettes reuniting to entertain their classmates at a 10-year reunion. And though the girls are a little older and wiser, high school heartaches quickly resurface.

Director Greg Wilson has assembled an excellent cast, and - along with Musical Director Ellen Lawrence - ensures that each performer gets her moment in the spotlight.

JJ Rodgers leads the way as resident diva Cindy Lou, an unapologetic flirt who campaigns shamelessly for prom queen. Rogers makes the most of comedic moments, while showing off smooth vocals with hits like "Leader of the Pack" and "Maybe."

Marie Wise-Hawkins also grabs plenty of laughs as wisecracking Betty Jean. A classically trained vocalist - she recently won The Romano's Macaroni Grill National Opera Sing Off - Wise-Hawkins offers a terrific rock-a-billy vibe with "Lipstick on Your Collar" and "That's When the Tears Start."

Chelsea Reynolds is great fun as Missy, a rather straight-laced gal who strives to keep her fellow Wonderettes on task. But things loosen up - with hilarious results - when she reveals a "Secret Love." And Reynolds' fabulous rendition of "Wedding Bell Blues" is one of the show's highlights.

Catherine Birdsong rounds out the quartet as the sweet, but dippy Suzy. She is appropriately cutesy in numbers such as "Stupid Cupid," but really cuts loose with "Rescue Me" and "Respect." Birdsong also deserves mention for the endearingly goofy choreography, which the ensemble executes with style.

For my money, the first act is perhaps a little tighter - and certainly more true to the era. Act II is solid fun, but while the Wonderettes have traded in their crinolines for mini skirts, their sound remains firmly rooted in the 1950s/early '60s, rather than 1968. It's a minor quibble though - particularly with such a capable and engaging cast.

Technical elements are strong, with the exception of a few mic issues. Wilson's scenic design captures all the nostalgia of a high school gymnasium dance, while Jenni Wilson's costumes nicely reflect the appropriate eras.

Full of fizzy fun and great vocal performances, these Wonderettes are marvelous, indeed.