Local Theater performs a literal soap opera

In Theater & Arts

Imagine it s the 1960s, you re a teenage girl and it s your
birthday. What could go wrong?

Well, what if you work in a laundromat, your cat gets run over and
your boyfriend dumps you?

That s the situation we find Cindy (Stephanie Bell) in when the
play Suds, presented by the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater in
Claremont, begins.

Suds is a musical soap opera designed in an interesting style with
musical medleys appearing in sequence with the story line.

One can t help but smile and tap their toes to such 1960s favorites
as Please Mr. Postman, Respect, These Boots are Made for
Walkin’, Secret Agent Man” and “Shout,” as
well as some 30 others performed by the cast of four incredibly
talented actors.

Created by Melinda Gilb, Steven Gunderson, Will and Bryan Scott and
set entirely in a laundromat, one would think that the play would
be boring but that couldn t be further from the truth. It s funny,
fast-paced and energetic.

Director John Vaughan does an amazing job with this production and
the set designed by Mitch Gill gave the location an authentic 60s
feel with bright colors and far out patterns.

The story itself gears around four characters: Cindy the teenager,
lost and depressed over a recent heartbreak; Dee Dee (Lori Dina), a
guardian angel still learning the ropes of her job; Marge (Vonetta
Mixson) the veteran angel and actor Ryan Hall, who performs several
roles including the “secret angel man” and Mr.

Hall shows that one man can play many roles in a lifetime and he
does it in one play. Quite an impressive feat.

The cast overall is great, playing their roles to perfection.
However, the star of this performance is Mixson. A veteran of the
Candlelight Pavilion stage, she shows yet again her amazing stage
presence and vocal skills as well as her perfect comedic timing,
pulling off one-liners that only Mixson can pull.

Her renditions of such great old songs as “Always Something
There to Remind Me” by Burt Bacharach and
“Respect” by Otis Redding are amazing to hear. But
perhaps her best performance is “You Don’t Have to Say
You Love Me” in which she gave the most soulful performance
of the night.

“Suds” and the Candlelight Pavilion offered a fun show
and a great meal. Though attending an event at the Pavilion is
pricey, it’s also a great night to share with someone special
and they offer amazing gourmet food.

Shows will be running from now until Nov. 14. For more information,
check out their Web site or call (909) 626-1254.

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