Shout! The Mod Musical, the Arts Center’s big summer shindig, will have audiences shimmying and shaking to the chart-topping tunes that made England swing in the sixties. The show, now on stage of the Elizabeth Wallace Theatre through July 31, recreates the fancy free era of thigh-skimming skirts and white vinyl boots.
Most of the music comes from the back catalog of British divas like Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield and Lulu. Among the retro recap are ‘60s favorites “Downtown”, “To Sir With Love,” “These Boots are Made for Walkin’, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” and “Georgy Girl.”
Bradley Vieth, the orchestrator and arranger of the 2006 off-Broadway production and SHOUT’s original soundtrack, has been brought in to conduct the orchestra and serve as musical director.
“It’s well-crafted, rhythmic music that appeals to every generation,” said Vieth, whose Arts Center credits include Hello, Dolly!, La Cage Aux Folles and My Fair Lady. “Most of these songs made it to the top of the American billboard charts.”
Performing the tunes are five archetypical characters of ‘60s women identified by the color of the clothing they wear. With each song, they tell a story about love, lust and the pursuit or loss of either.
“Each girl has her own unique personality that’s reflected in the songs she sings,” said Michelle Martin, who is playing the Yellow Girl. “I’m kooky, but surprisingly vulnerable, so I sing soulful songs like ‘Sun of a Preacher Man’ and ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself’.”
Playing the Orange Girl is homegrown Broadway actress Meredith Inglesby, who made her professional debut at the Arts Center 14 years ago as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Since then, she has appeared in two Broadway shows—Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid—as well as national tours of On the Record and Little House on the Prairie, the Musical.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the Wallace stage,” said Inglesby, who last performed in Cole and My Way in 2003. “It’s great to be back.”
Performances of “Shout!” are at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with Sunday shows at 7 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. June 24 and July 8. Tickets are $42 ($29 for children 15 and younger) and may be purchased at the box office, online at www.artshhi.com or by phone by calling 842-ARTS (2787).