Saturday, May 06, 2006

Review: "Then and Now" in Brazil, Ind.


It just makes you darn proud to be part of Brazil.
That’s the only way to describe “Then and Now,” the musical revue that is onstage at the Lark Theatre. The last show is tonight (Saturday).
Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. There is a limited amount of tickets available at $20 each.
It is a lively, fresh production that celebrates the City of Brazil from its naming through today.
Along the way, we meet the various conductors of the Brazil Concert Band (all played by Matt Huber) and we get to enjoy some favorite music, including “Beautiful Dreamer” (performed by Sam Glover), “In the Good Old Summertime” (Amber Payne), “American Patrol” (band), “The Trolley Song” (Ashlee Vitz and David Maurey), “On the Banks of the Wabash” (Harold Burton), “Always” (Michelle McCrea), “Tea for Two,” “Happy Days (Are Here Again)” (Keri Fagg), “The Best Things In Life Are Free” (Carol McConnell), “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (Ashlee Vitz, Michelle McCrea and Carol McConnell), “Strike Up the Band” (Kevin McCrea and Lee Reberger), “God Bless America,” “Crazy” (Michelle and Kevin McCrea), “When You Wish Upon A Star” (Carol McConnell, CTCC Kids and female cast), “Over the Rainbow” (Janelle Huber), “Seems Like Old Times” (David Maurey) and “Let There Be Peace On Earth” (Harold Burton).
The finale is a star-spangled salute to our country with “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
One of the novelty songs of note is Jim Garber’s rendition of “Puttin’ On The Dog,” a hilarious ditty about fur coats and fleas that is too funny for words.
This has to be one of our favorite shows produced by Community Theatre of Clay County Inc.
The show was deftly written by the Rev. Edward Randall and Susan Sneddon.
It is tied together by those three men who were given the task of naming our fair city, Judge Owen Thorpe, played by Lee Reberger, who was also co-director with Susan Sneddon, Yankee Bill Stewart (David Maurey) and Chester Hypplehauser (Kevin McCrea), who visit a fortune-teller (Ashley Vitz) “for entertainment purposes only.” A little theatric license is taken as they come back every 25 years from 1844 through 2006. They never age, though they go through at least three generations of fortune-tellers.
We also learn about Brazil through letters from Uncle Al (Carl McKinney) to his friends (Carol McConnell and Michelle McCrea).
The cast also includes Edward Randall, TJ Sneddon and Michael McConnell with the CTCC Singers and musicians Janelle Huber, Bill Morthland, Doris Pell, Bob Pell, Gary vanMiddlesworth, Steve Garlits, Allen Basore, Andy Whittington, Darlene Shepard, Jeff Colvin, John Huber, Wayne Parkins, Jim Pell, Susan Sneddon, the Rev. Steve Newman, Rebecca Beyers, Trey Reberger, McKenna Lunsford and David Swearingen.
Other performers include Bob Lambrecht, David Landes and Rita Rothrock.
We hope this show is reprised in future seasons.