Suds: The Rocking 60’s Musical Soap Opera
By Melinda Gilb, Steve Gunderson, and Bryan Scott
Directed and Choreographed by Roy Alan
Musical Direction by Chris Leavy
Winter Park Playhouse, Winter Park, FL
Cleanliness might be next to godliness, and that’s why the guardian angels of the Laundromat Dee Dee (Heather Alexander) and Marge (Laura Hoods) drop by the Suds Fluff and Fold just in time to prevent depressed manager Cindy (Joanna Yeakel) from spin drying herself into the great beyond. Maybe it was just a cry for help; after all she did dump in a whole bottle of fabric softener first. She’s all down and out because her pen pal dumped her, and you can imagine nothing is worse than being dumped by a guy you haven’t actually met yet. Dee and Marge don’t offer great advice, and one of them even runs off with Mr. Right (Christopher Alan Norton). Some how, that didn’t seem like an angelic thing to do.
But who gives a used anti-static rag about plot? This who event is about singing and spin drying your love life. The music sticks to the mid century pop standards although occasionally we are threatened with a Rolling Stones lyric if only to remind you that the big bad world is still out there. Back then, if you didn’t get the “fall in love draft deferment” they could send you off to a sweaty jungle where keeping a well pressed uniform in impossible. I could list all the songs here but that would take a while but if you’ve ever bought one of those “Billboard Top Hits of 196x” disks, all those track are on stage tonight. The music is as good as it always is, Ned Wilkinson adds some brass to the standard Leavy / Forrest piano/ percussion line up, and three of these 4 singers have the Equity asterisk next to there names, and all for good reason. I happened to catch the preview show, dire forecasts of collapsing set pieces and show stopping missed note never came true and the worst accident that almost but didn’t quite occur was an potential wardrobe failure from Dee Dee’s green polka dot bodice. Bring the kids, bring the old folks and bring that basket of unwashed darks towels, tonight everything cool is happening at the Laundromat!
For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, please visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org