Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Music by Gene dePaul
New songs by Al Kasha & Joel Hirschhorns
Based on the film
Directed by Bill Jenkins
Choreographed by Tammy Mader
Music direction by Roberta Duchak
At Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre
Fun, light weight musical a crowd pleaser
Featuring a terrific wooden set aptly depicting Oregon of 1850 (design by Kevin Depinet) and loads of high energy choreography (by Tammy Mader), Drury Lane Oakbrook’s Severn Brides for Seven Brothers is a fun evening of rousing musical theatre.
Based on the wonderful 1954 film choreographed by Michale Kidd, director Bill Kenkins has cast a talented group of dancers equal to the acrobatic and ballet influenced choreography redesigned by Mader and deftly executed by the dancers.
The story revolves around Adam (Steve Blanchard), a30something who comes down off his mountain farm in rural Oregon, circa 1850 in search of supplies and a wife or a housekeeper. When he meets the feisty Milly (Abby Mueller) at a local restaurant, it is love at first sight. Milly instantly falls for the tall, handsome commanding macho man. They marry that day and head to Adam’s large farmhouse in the mountains.
Surprise for Milly, Adam has six adult brothers: Benjamin (Richard Strimer), Caleb (Jarret Ditch), Daniel (William Travis Taylor), Ephraim (Chris Yonan), Frank (Brandon Springman), Gideon (Zach Zube). She is angry at Adam for his deception and she will not sleep with him. Eventually Milly helps the hapless boys learn enough social etiquette so they can court women.
The musical also has six cute girls looking for a mate: Dorcas (Vanessa Panerosa), Ruth (Cara Salerno), Liza (Amber Mak), Martha (Hallie Cercone), Sarah (Amandaa Kroiss), Alice (Katie Huff). Sparks fly as the mountain-men brothers come to town for a dance. Eventually the townees resent the mountain men and a fight starts and the brothers get barred for starting the violence.
But the brothers are each smitten as they pine for the girls. Adam advises that they kidnap their lovers. The results are not as the brothers expected.
Seven Brides is a light weight musical with country/barn dance tunes and romantic ballads. The show is cute, funny and heartwarmingly innocent. While the score is underwhelming, it is a toe-tapping delight. Steve Blanchard plays Adam effectively and Abby Mueller has the spunk to command the stage as Milly. The dancers dominate with several show-stopping high energy dances.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a safe bet for a nice fun evening of musical theatre. It is a family friendly, light fare aimed to please. The dancers will amaze you.
At Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, IL, call 630-530-0111, www.drurylaneoakbrook.com, tickets $31- $38- $45, Wednesdays at 1:30, Thursdays at 1:30 7 8 pm, Fridays at 8:30, Saturdays at 5 & 8:30, Sundays at 2 & 6 pm, running time is 2 hours, 25 minutes with intermission, through December 19, 2010