roger bean has been responsible for some pretty important (dare i say marvelous?) things in my life.
he was responsible for dying my hair jet black, putting me in dark brown contact lenses, and convincing me to teach audiences "the italian macarena." he was responsible for one of the quickest quick-changes i've ever had to do – by myself – from a mild-mannered gas station attendant to a big-busted, slightly unattractive, middle-aged diner-waitress named marge.
and he was responsible for getting me to knoxville, tennessee almost nine years ago to do a show at the clarence brown theatre. a show that changed my life in ways far beyond wearing brown contacts or a pre-padded bra.
he's also responsible for the new off-broadway hit "the marvelous wonderettes." the show began it's life at the milwaukee repertory theatre about eight years ago. vivid memories of that production, becky spice singing "secret love," laurie birmingham singing "lipstick on your collar," have stayed with me ever since.
those memories and more were brought to bright, shiny life last night as the show opened to a cheering, wildly enthusiastic crowd at the westside theater in new york.
the four actors in this production (bets malone – who has survived all the way from that original milwaukee production; beth malone – yes, there's a bets and a beth; farah alvin, and victoria matlock) are all delightful, charming, and just so much fun (truth be told, i have a major soft spot for suzy, but b.j. made me laugh until i peed, missy sings like a mofo, and golly, that cindy lou sure is pretty.)
the new york wonderettes have already gotten rave reviews from the associated press, theatermania and variety. it's gonna be a huge hit, it's gonna run forever, and when they make the movie, roger's gonna let me play suzy's spot-operator boyfriend richie, i just know it. and richie's probably a pockmarked redhead with a nasty harelip.