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Simi Valley Cultural Arts is delighting audiences this Christmas season with their production of Winter Wonderettes, the smash follow-up to the beloved musical Marvelous Wonderettes. Directed by Fred Helsel & Keenon Hook, the show stars four of Southern California’s most promising and enthusiastic female actors, Megan Maxwell (Cindy Lou), Sarah Marie (Missy), Jennifer Ridgway (Suzy) and Tatiana Cantu (Betty Jean).With all-time favorite holiday numbers such as Santa Baby and Mele Kalikimaka performed by the quartet interspersed with lesser known songs such as Suzy Snowflake, the show is set during the 1968 holiday party at Harper’s Hardware. And boy are all the guests in for a treat! The music is top-tapping good, the actors are all aces, the sets are jolly festive and the number of laughs during the show are too many to count. In fact, I believe the couple hours I was at Simi Valley’s Cultural Arts Center were the quickest and most entertaining hours I have enjoyed for quite some time.
|Jennifer Ridgway as Suzy. (c) Jon Neftali|
WHY you need to see Winter Wonderettes before it closes on 27 December:
- Sarah Marie and Jennifer Ridgway as best friends, Missy and Suzy, are 100% pure joy and charm. Sarah Marie’s Santa Baby and Mele Kalikimaka are two standouts and her strong voice and comedic timing make her a pleasure to watch during any and all scenes. SAG-AFTRA actor, Jennifer Ridgway, is the perfect Suzy with her ditziness, naivety and happy-go-lucky personality. Her Suzy Snowflake was an unexpected highlight and favorite of the night.
- The show is family friendly and will have the entire family enjoying themselves. Any adult humor is likely to go over the heads of most children keeping it PG.
- The band is strong and you would be surprised at how few men are actually playing in the pit.
- The costumes and hairstyles are well designed and had many an audience member feeling nostalgic.
- The show is interactive and the audience will have the time of their life. If you don’t want to be singled out (nothing too embarassing), just don’t be male or sit at the end of the row but really all those who were called out during the show I was at seemed to be in good spirits about it, including my dad.
So bring your holiday cheer, good moods and your loved ones for a great afternoon or evening of holiday joy. This is not to be missed!
FYI: If you have not seen Marvelous Wonderettes, you will still be able to enjoy the show for the show’s sake although it would help to have some context about who the ladies are before coming so look up the show or listen to a few of the very entertaining numbers from the original show. But don’t worry if you are new to the story because it will be just as entertaining nonetheless.
Dates: Now – 27 December 2015
Location: Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center (free parking lot)
Tickets: $18-$24 (I highly recommend do NOT sit in the balcony — very tight leg room)
Disclaimer: I had my ticket comped for review purposes but all opinions are my own.