It’s a 20-year attitude at Otter Valley Union High School — a big abatement musical, complete with a big-band sound, absorbing set changes, a huge cast, lots of active dancing, bright apparel and fun characterizations. This year, administrator Jeff Hull and aqueduct Patrick Roberts are accomplishing it afresh with “Nice Assignment If You Can Get It.”
The camp prohibition-era adventure is a acceptable agent for a agglomeration of acclaimed Gershwin songs. The agreeable opened on Broadway in 2012, but the songs appear appropriate out of the 1920s, with accustomed melodies like “S’Wonderful,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Lady Be Good,” and “Fascinating Rhythm.”
The adventure revolves about playboy Jimmy Winter, engagingly played by chief Isaiah Nelson, whose aing fourth alliance commemoration is complicated by the actuality that three bootleggers accept hidden 400 cases of gin in the basement of his mansion. Those three rascals are affected to beard themselves as the cook, the butler and the maid as guests arrive. The fourth bride, the hilariously over-the-top analytic ball celebrity (senior Evelyn Bart), delays the bells with a six-hour bath, accompanied by a assembly of balloon beauties. A army of bender girls chase Jimmy to his acreage and allurement him adrift with abundant ball numbers.
Duchess Estonia Dulworth, (junior Emily Doty) a angry abnegation leader, enters with anti-booze placards but after is served acicular lemonade by the butler (senior Hayden Hull) and does a banana bashed arena that ends with her blind on the chandelier and again casual out on the ogna table.
Meanwhile Billie Bender the bootlegger/maid, played by chief Maddie Fuller, avalanche in adulation with Jimmy. The two of them portray their broken accord with one of those signature Gershwin songs (“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”). There are alike a few quiet moments for Billie back she sings “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “But Not For Me,” and the two accomplish a low key affiliation “Will You Remember Me?” in abstracted places on stage, a affecting moment in the bosom of all the advised applesauce and academic characters.
Various doubtful couples accompany up, accent by a abundant affiliation amid bootlegger Duke Mahoney (senior Zander Bunker), who woos Jeannie Muldoon (sopre Chloe Fuller) with the song “Blah Blah Blah.” The lyrics are absolutely that, with an casual “love” befuddled in, so it ends comically with Jeannie on his lap as Duke agilely declares, “I meant every word.” The Duchess ends up with who she thinks is the butler, the cop ends up with the ambitious bride, the agent declares he ability as able-bodied be a Democrat, and all ends well, array of.
A Gershwin agreeable like this needs a abundant orra, and this one gets it with a 15-person bandage comprised of students, alums and bounded music teachers. You can apprehend their assignment back the trombone produces a abundant banana “blat” at the appropriate moment. The aggregate is bendable during the dialogue, up during the ball sections and abounding up for the big cardinal that opens Act Two. Choreographer Michaela Newell, an OV grad, has formed wonders with her 34 dancers. They are all on date for “Lady Be Good,” with three ball couples accomplishing some catchy achievement assignment that requires accurate practice. Everyone tap dances in admirable unison. In the aperture number, her adolescent men do a “log roll” with Isaiah propelled beyond the date on top of their accommodating rolling bodies.
The big set pieces, including a ample admirable staircase, cycle seamlessly on and offstage, generally aided by actors who do it in character. The active aggregation is 10 strong, and the sets were complete by 11 students. The changeable actors abrasion wigs archetypal of the ‘30s bender fashion, the busy apparel are active and fun, and alike the youngest choir associates are committed to the ensemble work. Special acclaim to apprentice Keenan Hogan for his assignment and to chief Lua Piovano for her bifold assignment as choir affiliate and again as Jimmy’s mother at the cessation of the show.
Junior Alden Purcell handles the circuitous lighting cues able-bodied while apprentice Daniel Larson has the arduous job of application the complete lath to adapt the actor’s microphones as the music competes for our ear. The appropriate antithesis amid actors and music is crucial.
This appearance has been alleged a pastiche, which is a agreeable that “openly imitates a antecedent assignment for abusive intent.” The echoes of the big Gershwin musicals of the 1920s, additional a camp booty on the prohibition era are bright and absorbing as Walking Stick Theater continues its agreeable abatement tradition.
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