The Marvelous Wonderettes return off Broadway this Thursday at New York’s Theatre Row. Take a cotton-candied colored trip down memory lane to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where four girls share dreams as big as their crinoline skirts.
The revue stars Christina Bianco, Diane DeGarmo, Jenna Leigh Green, and Sally Schwab and features more than twenty chart topping hits of the ’50s and ’60s, including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “It’s My Party.” Producer Tom D’Angora explains more:
Why bring the The Marvelous Wonderettes back to the NY stage?
Tom D’Angora: I don’t think it should have ever closed in the first place! Wonderettes is the kind of show that should always be running off Broadway. It doesn’t answer any of life’s nagging questions, but it makes people happy. The audiences truly love the show. They come out of the theater every night so happy and energized.
How does the new production compare with the 2008 original?
The original production was really incredible and I was a huge fan of it. We needed to make the new production different, but still the same. Michel D’Angora, my co-director and husband, had a very strong vision for the set. He wanted everything to be slightly cartoonish. With the help of the ridiculously inventive and fabulous props made by Brendan McCann and reimagined costumes from the original designer, Bobby Pearce, the show not only looks cartoonish, it looks absolutely marvelous.
How did go about you choosing the new cast?
Christina Bianco was in my other show (NEWSical) for three years. I knew she would be a perfect Missy and she is.
Christina Bianco alone in anything is worth the ticket price.
Her voice is flawless and effortless. You get elegant soprano from her in act one and a belted A flat from her in act two. I think her fans are going to really love seeing her in character. No impressions; just a gifted performer playing a role.
How about Jenna Leigh Green?
We weren’t sure who we were going to get to play Cindy Lou. We spent weeks trying to think of someone and one night my husband woke me up in the middle of the night and said, “It’s Jenna Leigh Green” and then he fell right back asleep. I called her agent first thing the next morning.
And Sally Schwab?
When I first saw The Marvelous Wonderettes in 2008, I called Sally at intermission and told her that I was at a show that had the most perfect role for her in it. By 2016, she had retired from performing and become a full time high school teacher in the South Bronx. She came out of retirement to play the role and is amazing.
Do the girls get along off stage?
No, just kidding. Yes, they get along fine!
Who is most like her character?
I think Sally is most like Betty Jean. She is tough, loyal, and has a heart of gold.
Who is the least?
I would say Jenna is not a whole lot like that boyfriend-stealing Cindy Lou, although I have seen her giving my husband the eye.
In addition to opening the show, you’re campaigning for Hillary.
It is insanely exhausting! Especially when the NY primary was happening during previews.
With The Marvelous Wonderettes opening, will you be directing more of your time to your day job now? Or is this election just too important?
If I had to choose between my theater career and my work for Hillary, it’s a no brainer. I’d choose Hillary. Her being elected means more to me than anything in the world. This is the most important election of my lifetime. The next president could select three or four Supreme Court Justices and I will fight with everything I have to ensure it’s not Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
The Marvelous Wonderettes runs Wednesdays at 2:30pm and 8:15pm, Thursdays at 8:15pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm. Tickets can be purchased at The Theatre Row box office or through Telecharge.com. For groups contact 212-889-4300 or 800-331-0472. The Kirk at Theatre Row is located at 410 W 42nd St off of 9th Ave.
Last modified: July 27, 2017