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UW Snowy Range Summer Theatre Opens with ‘Marvelous Wonderettes’

June 5, 2018
four women on a stage
UW students, from left, Anne Mason, from Laramie; Aili Maeve McLellan, of Houston, Texas; Hannah Kipp, Houston; and Elaina Osburn, from Lafayette, Colo.; rehearse a scene from “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” Roger Bean’s smash off-Broadway hit that pays homage to the high school song leader squads of the 1950s and 1960s. The production runs June 12-16 at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre. (Donald P. Turner Photo)

A musical trip down memory lane opens the University of Wyoming’s 2018 Snowy Range Summer Theatre season.

“The Marvelous Wonderettes,” Roger Bean’s smash off-Broadway hit that pays homage to the high school song leader squads of the 1950s and 1960s, will run June 12-16 at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Thrust Theatre. Presented by the UW Department of Theatre and Dance, the production is directed by department chair and Professor Leigh Selting.

Tickets cost $10 for the public and $7 for seniors, UW faculty/staff/students and children over age 5. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more people. For tickets and information, call (307) 766-6666, visit www.uwyo.edu/finearts/, or visit the Wyoming Union or Performing Arts Center box offices.

A family favorite, “The Marvelous Wonderettes” takes the audience to the 1958 Springfield High School prom, where song leaders Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy, four girls with voices as big as their bouffant hairstyles, and hopes and dreams as spectacular as their crinoline skirts, are introduced.

When the girls are called upon as a last-minute replacement for the night’s scheduled performers, they rally together to entertain their classmates in four-part harmony. As the audience learns about their lives and loves, the girls serenade with classic ‘50s hits, including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid” and “Lipstick on Your Collar.”

In act two, the Wonderettes reunite to take the stage and perform at their 10-year class reunion. The highs and lows the girls have experienced in the past decade are revealed and, no matter what life throws their way, they conquer it together.

Bean’s jukebox musical was commissioned by the Milwaukee Repertory Theater for its intimate black-box space, with the original one-act version premiering in 1999. After leaving that venue and its size constraints, the show grew into its current, fully realized, two-act version, eventually playing at the El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles for a record-breaking two-year run beginning in 2006, where it received several Ovation nominations and awards.

“The Marvelous Wonderettes” opened off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre in New York City Sept. 14, 2008, where it ran until Jan. 3, 2010.

The musical continues to be an audience favorite in regional and amateur theater companies throughout the country, with more than 500 productions staged throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.

For more information, call Kathy Kirkaldie, UW Fine Arts coordinator, at (307) 766-2160 or email kirisk@uwyo.edu.


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