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BEEHIVE Daemen University/MusicalFare Theatre
Nov 12, 2022, 17:18
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Shea.s Performing Arts Center

Through December 11
BEEHIVE Daemen University/MusicalFare Theatre

By Augustine Warner

All the way through “Beehive,” I kept expecting Jeff Kaye’s ghost to come onto the MusicalFare stage.
He was the DJ of my youth, here and in Boston in the period of the Sixties rhythmically portrayed in this jukebox musical.
For a musical which wears out the performers in less than two hours, the show covers a lot of ground, from what seem like sock hops and “It’s My Party,” through the rise of Motown and the social change of “You Can’t Hurry Love” from the legendary team of Holland/Dozier/Holland to Janis Joplin at Woodstock for “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Without insulting the performers in “Beehive,” Janis was better.
I was there.
This is a history of social change, demonstrated by the music, often by song writers who still stand out today, Carole King and Gerry Goffin with that theme of the one-night stand, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and King and Goffin with Gerald Wexler for that feminist anthem
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
And, the show finishes with a message to the future, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s “Make Your Own Kind of Music” and this show does that.
Director and choreographer Carlos R.A. Jones offers strong leadership and strong performers in the ensemble, mostly new to the local talent pool, and a band a little larger than we are used to, led by veteran music director Philip Farugia.
We will see these performers again, Brittany Bassett-Baran, Stevie Jackson, Lily Jones, Sabrina Kahwaty, Kristen-Marie Lopez and Timiyah Love.
The show’s name is a joke about women’s hair back in those Sixties times, with a pop can to make that hair mountain stand up.
It’s another triumph for local hair wrangler Susan Drozd, as the hairdos change from song number to song number.
Except for the kid seated two over from me watching his phone, these were songs known to the MusicalFare audience and there were clearly some memories in play.
Some were certainly good, like “Proud Mary” or the plaintive “Where the Boys Are” from that spring break movie of long ago to “Be My Baby.”
Then, there is that lament for what might have been, “Abraham, Martin and John.”
“Beehive” is a jukebox musical but there is a lot more content than many and this one is well done and worth attending.

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