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Monday, November 02, 2009

Ivoryton’s “Jerry’s Girls” an evening of song and celebration

IVORYTON — Although the five women who sang their individual hearts out with Broadway songs ranging from “Bosom Buddies” to “Hello Dolly,” and many in between, the real star of this show is Jerry Herman, the best, most prolific songster you might never have heard of.
I certainly never did. Based on the litany of songs he wrote I think his name should come trippingly off the tongue just as other Broadway legends do — Rodgers and Hammerstein and Steven Sondheim come to mind.
There’s nary a plot to be found in this musical review, but just like a night club act, it’s an evening of song, sass, and the old soft-shoe.
All five of the gals are super in their own way, with Elizabeth Talbot the only non-equity actor in this show. Her voice is lovely and lyrical, but a little soft, and at times the small orchestra in the back of the stage on the second level overpowered her.
Jackie Sidle is dynamic and charismatic channeling the funny Fanny Brice in “Put it Back On.” In the beginning of the evening Sidle’s voice was straining and harsh, but as she warmed up, she bloomed.
Amy D. Forbes is funny and pretty, although her voice too is a little soft, when she sings “Just Go to the Movies.” There is a strobe light during this song that goes on too long and is difficult, bordering on painful to watch. They could loose that effect.
MaryAnne Piccolo has the most powerful voice in the cast, and is memorable in her stark and piercing duet with Julia Kiley called “Kiss Her Now.”
Kiley, who also directed and staged the show, looks much like a red headed Debbie Reynolds, and has a terrific stage presence and sings one of the most dramatic and best songs of the embarrassment of musical riches, “If He Walked into my Life.”
These songs, ranging from torch to camp, are romantic, dreamy, and thoroughly enjoyable.
The Art Deco set by Rachel Reynolds fits the mood to a “T.” It harkens back to a time when the world was a simpler place — and the women are feisty, gorgeous, and powerful.
The costumes are variations of little black dresses as the base, with multiple fast changes that must be a backstage show in itself, with costumes by Pam Puente.
Don’t come looking for a plot, because there isn’t any, but if you are interested in a delightful, fast-paced, evening of entertainment, with some of the best songs ever to grace the musical stage, sung by five dynamic divas, then “Jerry’s Girls” at the Ivoryton Playhouse is for you.


3 Stars
Location: Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton
Production: Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman. Directed and staged by Julia Kiley. Musical direction by Steven Oliveri. Set Design by Rachel Reynolds. Costume design by Pam Puente. Lighting design by Doug Harry.
Running time: 2 hours including one 15-minute intermission.
Show Times: Wednesday and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. through Nov. 15.
Tickets: $35 for adults, $30 for previews and seniors, $20 for students, and $15 for children 12 and under. Call the box office at 860-767-7318, or visit their website at
Amy D. Forbes … Herself
Julia Kiley … Herself
MaryAnne Piccolo … Herself
Jackie Sidle … Herself
Elizabeth Talbot … Herself

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