BREAK OUT the Aquanet, dust off your old 45s, and get ready for Beehive! Having just opened at SCAD's Mondanaro Theatre Nov. 4, this musical revue explores tunes from female powerhouses like The Chiffons, Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, and Janis Joplin.
“It traces women’s evolution from the naÏve 1950s to the women’s lib of the 1970s,” explains director Michael Wainstein.
To make that journey, Beehive relies more on music than an elaborate storyline. It opens with a woman searching through her attic who happens to come across her old 45 collection.
From there music takes center stage as she recalls different memories that tie each song to the next and create a relevant timeline. With old favorites like “You Don’t Own Me,” “It’s My Party,” and “Proud Mary,” this show has the kind of songs that keep your feet tapping and your tuckus wiggling in your seat.
To ensure that the show evokes feelings of the past, the cast conducted research to see who they’re trying to live up to.
“Thank God for YouTube,” says Wainstein. “We were able to find videos of all the artists, so we can truly create a loving and affectionate tribute.”
The performers certainly do justice to each number with powerful voices that lift to the rafters. And while they maintain respect for the music, they don’t forget to have fun and add little touches of humor for a giggle between songs.
“This is a period that I can be corny and go all out with,” says Jessica Giannonie, speaking of the first act’s exploration of ‘50s and ‘60s girl groups. “You’ve got to keep the energy up and keep a smile on your face.”
The second act is a little heavier with the likes of Janis Ian and Tina Turner. Moving into the 1960s, it approaches events like the JFK assassination, the Beatles invasion, and an industry movement towards music with meaning.
“I love Janis Joplin,” gushes Kayla Ricker, “so it’s really important to me that I stay true to the spirit of her music.”
Such dedication and enthusiasm is shown by the entire cast as they move seamlessly from one song to the next, transporting the audience back to sock hops and Woodstock. Beehive promises to be an evening of amazing talent and nonstop reminiscing.
BeehiveWhen: Nov. 5-8 at 8 p.m., Nov. 9 at 3 p.m.
Where: Mondanaro Theatre, 217 MLK Jr. Blvd.