Jersey girls relive old time Rock & Roll
If it is great music memories from times gone by you are seeking GLOBers, this play is all about you, musically speaking. The Hippodrome Theatre's Summer musical The BIKINIS will time warp you back to a feel good and be young and in love time of life, where the biggest concern was who was dating Lifeguard #23.
Original GLOB supporter and occasional contributor Lynn Dirk also saw the play and she has a theory about it and she is sticking to it: "Like one of those campy B movies that creates a cult following, this Hipp production is so bad it's good in how it portrays exactly what a trailer park fundraiser with over the hill wannabe rock-n-rollers taking a sentimental journey just might look and feel and sound like. And what makes it good in the end is not how you look or feel or sound but how you rock, and this play is proof of that because classic rock and roll will make you feel good no matter what."
Thanks to Hippodrome Artistic Director Lauren Caldwell and writters Ray Roderick and James Hindman with music arrangements by Joseph Baker, after 20 years The Bikinis, AKA Jersey girls, are back together to raise money for the good folks at Sandy Shores Mobile Home Beach Resort.
The Bikinis are Jodi and Annie, two sisters from Paramus, New Jersey; Karla, their slightly manipulative first cousin from Philly; and best friend Barbara, from Staten Island. Image right: top right; Annie (Catherine Fries Vaughn), Jodi (Kelly Atkins), Karla (Melanie Souza) and Barbara (Wydetta Carter). With minimal conversation and even less plot, The Bikini girls are ready to put their bikinis back on for the good of their beloved mobile home beach park.
Why not you might ask. This quartet of budding musical stars in their earlier years spent an entire Summer singing at all sorts of socials events and parties to raise the $480 necessary to create their first 45 rpm disk – two-sided mind you – to send them on their way to fame, fortune and a career of musical notoriety.
Unfortunately -- as life will happen -- the ladies are several years older as they revisit their old stomping ground for one last hurrah to save their musical birthplace before the trailer park is torn down.
No worries about following the plot. Disguised by a myriad of 36 song titles, you will be directed on a musical magic carpet ride stopping off, here, and there to reminisce on the reasons this mobile home park, er uh, excuse me, the Sandy Shores Mobile Home Beach Resort, holds so many darn good memories.
The Bikini girls are on a most excellent adventure rekindling their musical vibes with each singer taking turns at solo spotlight singing opportunities in the Bikini Way Back Chair for several good chuckles, clever lines, and a host of serendipity good tunes.
The Quartet of Bikini girls did a great job of moving this story with their musical chops.
Kudos to Kelly Adkins (Jodi), and Wydetta Carter (Barbara) for belting out the beat with feeling to these old favorites. All these songs must have garnered a four or five on Dave Clark's Rate-A-Record.
Very nice job to Hippodrome Costume Designer Lori Gann-Smith for Wydetta Carter's multi-sequined tunic/dress for her solo version of the great Donna Summer's Last Dance. The beat of the tune had me dancing in my seat longingly wanting to get out underneath the shiny, blinking disco ball. "Aaaahhh, toot-toot, beep-beep". Ms. Carter's costume bling battled the disco ball for most spectacular, illuminating theatrical prop of the show.
Much applause to the Hippodrome Design Team for what must have been a difficult task creating a trailer park beach resort while sticking to the back beat of a musical odyssey covering more decades of style, change than we all want to admit.
Special thanks to Hipp Staffer Rachel Jones for The Bikini images. The Hippodrome's production of The Bikinis continues through June 24 with 7 performances a week on various days and times. FOLLOW THIS LINK for more information.