Get ready to throw your head back, kick your heels up and “Shout!” Five belting beauties and eight super fruggers entertain nonstop for 90 minutes, taking audiences on a voyage back to the Swinging Sixties. Originally, this show was a lackluster musical revue set in London and loosely joined together by dialogue between five Mod birds and a disembodied advice columnist from a teen rag called “Shout!” Marriott’s crackerjack artistic team has re-imagined this disjointed musical by making it a celebration of infectious pop hits, eliminating the dialogue and English references and filling the stage with an ensemble of multitalented singers and dancers. The result is a joyful evening that’s a real blast from the past, and the perfect theatrical equivalent of the summer beach novel.
The original production’s five young female singers remain the same, except now each actress reveals her character’s journey through song lyrics. Another holdover are the ‘60’s sensibilities and attitudes regarding the change in women’s roles and relationships. The refinements include a revised set of songs, orchestrations that are more faithful to the original hits and an ensemble of skillful young dancers who help tell each character’s story in movement. Nancy Missimi tops herself with a fashion parade of Carnaby Street and King’s Row-inspired A-line mini skirts, vinyl go-go boots, psychedelic prints and highlighter colors of double-knit and velour.
The ensemble is extraordinary, both as soloists and when blending gorgeously as backup. Jessie Mueller demonstrates once again that there’s nothing this actor/singer/dancer can’t do. Tammy Mader’s sassy party girl serves up laughs and lasciviousness with numbers like “These Boots Were Made for Walking.” But it’s newcomers Carey Anderson, Brooke Jacob and Raena White who absolutely blow the roof off the joint. “Shout!” indeed.