May 4-20, 2018
‘Beehive’ at Great Lakes Theater all honey and no sting.
Go tap your feet, hark back to those “olden” days when life had a different level of angst, hum or sing along with the talented young ladies, and be educated in the way that theater represents the era from which it comes. In this case, the musical 60s.
A strange featherweight offering for a classic theater company like Great Lakes Theater, “Beehive” is not particularly profound and certainly not new. But infatuation with mid-century Americana has not waned and neither has the adoration of the music of female pop from the 1960s -- from Leslie Gore to Janis Joplin. Ironically, what’s missing from Great Lakes Theater’s “Beehive” are, well beehives, the infamous lacquered, teased-out hairstyle that could never bee too high or too wide. Esther M. Haberlen’s costumes (and presumably wigs) are beautiful, but, ironically, too detailed and subtle for the broad visual strokes a show like this needs -- especially since the stage is so bare. Fortunately there’s no way to minimize the over-the-top vision of Tina Turner or the Supremes, and those moments when these icons comes to life, the entire production comes back to life as well.
As talented as the kids from BW can be, you’d think GLT could find some quirky end-of-the-season show that could employ their stable of talented and experienced professional actors. That would be a treat. And we could let Larry Gallagher get back to setting up banjo act gigs in Altoona.
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's review at Cleveland Scene
But Beehive belongs to the Queen Bees — the six dynamic young women who breathed life into the featured golden oldies. When the show began they were decked out in pastel dresses with full skirts, but by the time the show was over, the fluffy petticoats were ditched, and glitz and sexy looks dominated. Alternating ensemble and solo songs showed talent galore. Adrianna Cleveland, Annalise Griswold, Shelby Griswold, Christiana Perrault, Camille Robinson and Hannah-Jo Weisberg kept us dazzled with their conviction, talent, and energy (They didn’t let it show, but it sure seemed like a workout from where I sat).
To see a full review of this show, read Laura's posts at Cool Cleveland.
"Beehive" blows a tire when it sells itself s a journey of women's empowerment, moving from those innocent days to Aqua Net and "Beach Blanket Bingo" to the woke age of Woodstock and Women's lib. I wish they and the artists behind the scenes--had been given better material. Something equal to their talents--and to our attention.
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.