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Rockin’ and Groovin’ at Broadway Palm

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Broadway Palm’s latest show, Yesterday’s, (and why is that apostrophe in there anyway?) is a pastiche of music from the ‘50s and ‘60s, one act of each. The six performers confess at the top of the show that they are too young to remember any of what they’re about to sing and dance to. Most of the audience, however, grew up with this music, and some, like me, probably found themselves singing along or at least mouthing the lyrics every once in a while.

The high-energy company comprises Ilana Gabrielle, Rachael Haber, Housso Semon, Keith McCoy, Scott James Smith, and Christopher Violett subbing for Jesse Michels. They kick the evening off as a group and then splinter off into soloing in clusters of songs with themes such as unrequited love and dueling Elvi. Semon and McCoy are standouts in a juxtaposition of “Sixteen Tons” with “Fever” complete with mood lighting.  Smith channels Bobby Darin in “Mack the Knife”  and Violett croons “Mona Lisa” so well that the lady herself projected on a screen behind him breaks into a toothy grin.  Clad by turns in pedal pushers, crinolines, and white sports coats with pink carnations, the whole bunch twists, ponies, and swims across the stage and into the audience.

Act Two starts with a short tribute to the Beatles. Then it’s guy versus gal groups in several Motown standards. Haber shows off her comedic flair in “You Don’t Own Me” and Gabrielle is a show stopper with her rendition of “Me and Bobby McGee.”  With a psychedelic background and the talented orchestra decked out in tie dye, the show concludes with a peace, love, and brotherhood segment.

Personally, I recall the ‘60s as being grittier than what is shown here. The Rolling Stones and their ilk are absent.  And Woodstock included some biting anti-war sentiments along with all that Aquarian harmony. I guess creator and writer Victor Legarretta didn’t want to risk causing anyone to get indigestion.  Even though Yesterday’s is a sanitized version of the era, it hits enough high points to satisfy the urge to reminisce.

The show runs until October 8. Call 239.278.4422 for tickets.

 

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