Grey High to present Seven Brides musical
Bob Eveleigh: Grey High School in Port Elizabeth will present the stage version of the famous MGM 1954 musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
As the start of what has virtually become Port Elizabeth’s biennial season of major musicals and plays by high schools in the first or second terms of each scholastic year, Grey High School will present the stage version of the famous MGM 1954 musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, in the Savoy Theatre from Wednesday, March 18, to Saturday, March 21, at 18:30 for 19:00. There will also be a matinee, at 13:30 for 14:00, on the Saturday of the run.
It is directed by popular Friendly City musical personality, cabaret producer and performer – and Head of Intramurals at Grey – Pieter Rademeyer, in his debut as a full stage musical director, He will be solidly supported by the school’s Head of Music, Shawn Lyon, who has wide, Showtime Award-winning experience in senior PE community theatre, as his musical director.
Collegiate Junior teacher, Siobhan Day, who staged the numbers for the brilliant joint high and primary four-school Collegiate/ Grey The King and I in 2012, is again responsible for the choreography, which is what most movie musical devotees recall from the highly entertaining film version.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers boasted a terrific, lively musical score with lyrics by one of America’s most famous wordsmiths, Johnny Mercer, set to rollicking music by Gene de Paul, but only four songs were retained for this stage adaptation, which first surfaced in 1982 and played a very brief season on Broadway with Debby Boone, Pat Boone’s singing daughter, in the role of Milly, originated by Jane Powell in the movie.
The retained songs are Bless Yore Beautiful Hide, Wonderful, Wonderful Day, Goin’ Courtin and Sobbin’ Women, while the many new compositions augmenting the Mercer/ De Paul contributions, are by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, who won Oscars for their theme songs, The Morning After, from The Poseidon Adventure, and We May Never Love This Way Again, from The Towering Inferno, in 1973 and 1975.
The plot of the stage show follows that of the film, which was based on Stephen Vincent Benet’s short story, Sobbin’ Women, and deals with the problems that arise after the eldest of the septet of backwoodsmen brothers, Adam, having unexpectedly won himself a bride, named Milly, the other six, after sighting the charms of the nearby town’s young women on a visit to a barn-raising, decide they too all want to wed, resulting in them kidnapping the girls to their cabin just as winter sets in and the connecting pass from town to their home is closed. Then Milly steps in to handle the situation …
The show has had many professional revivals over recent years in the US and UK and a much-lauded update is presently touring America – it is also due to be staged in the open air in London’s Regent’s Park in mid-2015, as part of the Park’s programme of staging “forgotten” musicals.
Grey being a boys school, of course, the “brides” and other female roles have been cast in open auditions from pupils in various girls schools.
With Grey High’s James van der Merwe, playing Adam – he won junior and senior Showtime Awards this year for his work in Pemad’s Snow White; The Pantomime, and Collegiate’s excellent Legally Blonde: The Musical – Milly must needs be played by a slightly older performer that the other brides, and so this part will be taken by second year NMMU student, Candice Millar, direct from leading the cast of this year’s highly successful Showtime revue, Walkin’ Happy.
Also from Showtime’s line-up is Collegiate High’s Claire Glover, opposite Nic Merrington, as Alice and Gideon, the youngest of the bride/ brothers pairings.
Tickets for Seven Brides for Seven Brides are priced, for all shows, at R80 for adults and R70 for children, and booking is at the Grey High Administration Office – telephone 041 374 3300.
Article source: http://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=37582