The first musical in the 2014 season at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, opened last week, and it is a fun-loving show. The musical is full of excellent choreography, wonderful performances, love stories, and big dance numbers. This show is a great evening and a reminder of what the American musical is all about, pure and simple entertainment. If you have never seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Dutch Apple’s energetic production is well worth seeing.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a musical based on the 1954 film of the same name. The inspiration for the plot of the film and musical is from a short story published in 1937, “The Sobbin’ Women,” by Pennsylvania writer, Stephen Vincent Benét. The music for the show was written by Gene de Paul, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, and lyrics were penned by Johnny Mercer, Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers had a successful national tour, but it did not have a popular Broadway run – the show closed after only five performances. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers takes place in the Oregon wilderness in the 1850s. The musical tells the story of Adam, the oldest of seven brothers, who wants to find a wife to take care of him and his six brothers. He finds a wife, Millie, and she wants to civilize and marry off her six brothers-in-law. What ensues is a show full of liveliness, laughter, and great performances.
Under the direction of Dean Sobon Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a rollicking good time. In the role of Adam Pontipee is Justun Hart. Hart has a strong presence on stage and he starts off the show strong with his song, “Bless Your Beautiful Hide” and ends the show with his powerful solo “Am I Stubborn?” Kate Marshall plays Milly, the new bride of Adam. Marshall is the production’s centerpiece and she steals the show with her performance in “I Married Seven Brothers.” Playing the other six brothers are: Drew Stark (Benjamin), Chris Kane (Caleb), Matt Caey (Daniel), Joel Duke (Ephraim), Will Leonard (Frank), and Glenn Britton (Gideon; Britton is the understudy and he played in this role the night I attended the show). Overall, these actors were energetic and charming. However, there were times in the production that a couple of dance scenes were not as precise as they should have been. In the roles of the brides are Diane Huber (Dorcas), Danielle Barnes (Ruth), Chloe Tiso (Martha), Hannah Timm (Liza) Heather Farney (Sarah) and Megan Godin (Alice). These lovely actors were delightful and spirited. Although, I enjoyed every one of the performances in this show, it was the innocence of Britton (Giddeon) and Godin (Alice) that captured the audiences’ hearts. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a show that is full of joy, and has wall to wall dancing, you don’t want to miss this production at Dutch Apple.
I also need to mention the people behind the scenes of this show. The person responsible for the lively choreography for this production is Kerry Lambert. The set for this show was designed by Dominic Lau. John P. White designed the exquisite costumes. In addition, A. Scott Williams is the Musical Director for this show.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers runs at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre through May 11, 2014. For more information and tickets please visit their website at www.dutchapple.com or call the box office at 717-898-1900.
Photos courtesy of Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
Final Thought: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a splendidly good time. The cast is full of energy and this is a show that is pure and simple entertainment. It is fantastic show that the whole family will enjoy.
Kelli Curtin is editor and writer for theatresensation.com. In addition, she is a contributor for the online sites broadwayworld.com and figlancaster.com and is a freelance writer. Kelli is excited to share her passion about theatre and the arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on twitter @theatrescribe and on Facebook/theatresensation.