Transcendence Theatre Company specializes in big-production mashups of classic Broadway musicals. The group’s spectacular “Broadway Under the Stars” has been a wine country summer destination for several years.
A recent addition to the Transcendence repertoire is “The Ladies of Broadway,” running the weekends of March 17-18 at the Marin Veterans Auditorium and March 24-25 at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa. It’s a showcase for seven hyper-talented female veterans of Broadway musicals, with backing by a huge and huge-sounding theater band.
Neither a classic musical nor a classic revue of showtunes, its premise is a loosely-connected story in which each performer relates her aspirations, travails, and successes in landing leading roles in big long-running musicals: Momma Mia, An American in Paris, Hairspray, Legally Blonde, We Will Rock You, Motown the Musical, and Wicked among them. There are also plenty of references to older blockbusters, including the works of Stephen Sondheim and Bob Fosse.
Every one of these young women is a double- or triple-threat, meaning they can sing, act, dance, and in some cases, play instruments or do gymnastics. All of them have fantastic stage presence, perfect comic timing, enormous huge vocal range, perfect pitch, and the ability to rattle the back wall of an auditorium without the use of microphones. Their solos are wonderful and their harmonies exquisite.
The show is a fast-moving feast of upbeat tunes, self-deprecating humor and quick-change antics that brings the audience to its feet not only at the show’s close but at intermission as well.
“Ladies of Broadway” is one of the most stunning assemblages of talent you will see on one stage this year—two hours of tremendous fun and an entertainment bargain. Don’t miss it!
ASR Senior Editor Barry Willis is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and president of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle.
“The Ladies of Broadway” by Transcendence Theatre Company
Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
Tickets: $39 – $139 Info: 877-424-1414, www.BestNightEver.org
Rating: Five out of Five Stars
***** ***** ***** ***** *****