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Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
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Indianapolis, IN
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So, what’s your marrying story?

by Rita Kohn
September 2, 2018
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
9301 N. Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
317-872-9664
Rita Kohn, member: Dance Critics Association, Authors Guild, Dramatists Guild
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is serving up an exuberant Seven Brides for Seven Brothers through Oct. 7. The cast is non-stop outstanding on all fronts with delineated characterizations at the center of the spirited dancing, and of the songs that fill in the back stories while being reflective of the moment we’re witnessing.

The particularly fine trio for “Love Never Goes Away”—Krista Severeid as Milly; Tony Lawson as Adam and Joey Boos as Gideon—is at the fulcrum point between ‘don’t take any of this seriously’ and ‘this seemingly goofy plot has a lot to say about love, marriage, who we are and how we got to be that way.

The nuances are subtle. When Milly reveals she was orphaned as a child, Adam’s self-absorbed reaction disconcerts; it’s not until “Where Were You?” that we feel Adam’s depth of hurt —to him, Milly just had herself to look after—hardly a minor feat; yet to him it doesn’t measure up to the responsibility he has had with raising up six brothers.

So while Milly shows her upbeat spirit with “Wonderful, Wonderful Day” and we applaud her sunny side of making it on her own, the showstopper number for me is Adam confronting his past—and recognizing he does have a responsibility to listen with his heart and to do what he needs to bring stability to his marriage and newborn child, and to Milly, whom he whiz-bang courted.

The initial one-liner pointing to ‘pay attention to the subtleties’ is Mr. Bixby’s retort to Adam setting out to acquire a bride with the same mentality as completing a shopping list. Adam Crowe’s delivery is as much a lesson in fine acting as it is an insight into a person's character. It’s a moment with staying power.

Admittedly, I went not expecting this kind of depth. The 1954 film and 1980s musical were far more attractive for the dancing and singing; the shallow plot was a yawner. It’s a basic man meets woman…and stuff happens…

But Seven Brides for Seven Brothers had a major stage makeover in 2007, depicting more realistically life in 1850s State of Oregon and endowing it with greater depth. Yes, one still can tick off the musical precedents here cataloged, but as another patron intimated upon exiting, there’s only so many plots and the genius is in how they are reordered to intrigue us with a compelling story. The film was based on Stephen Vincent Millay’s short story, “The Sobbin’ Women,” which was based on “The Rape of the Sabine Women.” Millay’s story makes for delightful reading; it’s in-print in any number of collections, as are retellings of the Roman legend. That Milly had a copy to hand to Adam in 1850 speaks to literary vibrancy of our West Coast frontier.

Elizabeth Stark Payne directs with an inward-listening ear to feelings and an outward-looking eye to how we choose to show -or hide- them. Ron Morgan’s zestful choreography veers on virtuosity and avoids cliche. Yes, the knock out dance number is “Social Dance” yet “Goin’ Courting” is under-the-radar brilliant.

Kristy Templet’s musical direction is a showcase of paying attention to the intent of the words and texture of the music—particularly noteworthy is the choral singing for “The Suitor’s Lament,” “We’ve Gotta Make It Through the Winter” and “Glad That You Were Born.”

The functional set by Michael Layton has the feel of what we expect in a rugged mountain cabin and a frontier-type town.

The 21-member cast includes five debuts and two married couples—Lawson and Severeid, and Peter and Sally Scharbrough— all who initially met as Beef&Boards cast members many shows ago and subsequently said "I do" sans shotguns. Access bios and news at beefandboards.com.

Next on the Beef&Boards stage is Man of La Mancha, opening on Oct. 11 through Nov. 18.

For more information and tickets: call 317-872-9664 or visit beefandboards.com.
After proposing to Milly (Krista Severeid), Adam Pontipee (Tony Lawson) kisses her in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. The real-life husband and wife star in this rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film that bursts with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

After proposing to Milly (Krista Severeid), Adam Pontipee (Tony Lawson) kisses her in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. The real-life husband and wife star in this rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film that bursts with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


The seven Pontipee brothers marry their brides in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

The seven Pontipee brothers marry their brides in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


The six remaining single Pontipee brothers show off at the town social in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

The six remaining single Pontipee brothers show off at the town social in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Six of the Pontipee brothers sweep the ladies off their feet at the town social in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

Six of the Pontipee brothers sweep the ladies off their feet at the town social in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Adam Pontipee (Tony Lawson), center, tells his brothers about a strategy for them to be with the women they love as he sings “Sobbin’ Women” in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

Adam Pontipee (Tony Lawson), center, tells his brothers about a strategy for them to be with the women they love as he sings “Sobbin’ Women” in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and famous songs including “Wonderful, Wonderful Day,” “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Milly (Krista Severeid), center, tells her friends that she’s going to marry Adam Pontipee as she sings “Wonderful, Wonderful Day” in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and other famous songs include “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

Milly (Krista Severeid), center, tells her friends that she’s going to marry Adam Pontipee as she sings “Wonderful, Wonderful Day” in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, now on stage at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre through Oct. 7. This rip-roaring stage version of the classic MGM film is bursting with energetic dance numbers and other famous songs include “Bless Your Beautiful Hide,” and “Goin’ Courting.”

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig

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