Described sometimes as a “jukebox musical” for its focus on the music, Shout! The Mod Musical is more. Shout! relives one of the most dynamic periods in popular culture – when rock-and-roll was reflected back across the Atlantic from devoted admirers in England. Remember Petula Clark, Marianne Faithfull, Cilla Black, Lulu, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield and the women’s side of “the British invasion?” Get ready to feel that excitement again this summer at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, through July 29.
Pure entertainment might be a better description.
It has nothing to do with nostalgia. For sheer impact and energy the 60’s more than hold their own in music, in fashion, in dance and in the changes we embraced. That’s the subject of Shout! Audiences around the world have proven that the show’s appeal goes beyond women, beyond music, and well beyond the generation that can remember the songs first time around. Shout! has very much a life of its own.
Shout! The Mod Musical follows five women through the 1960’s, with the agenda set by their favorite magazine. Paging through it together we see five different characters take five distinctive reactions to the issues of the day, mostly funny, sometimes touching. And the songs they perform bring their responses vividly to life in a way we all can feel.
Ten years of chart-toppers ring out live and in color from the Arts Center’s Elizabeth Wallace stage, including “Goldfinger,” “Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’, ” “Georgy Girl, “To Sir With Love,” “I Only Want To Be With You” and “Anyone Who Had A Heart.”
“It’s well-crafted, rhythmic music that appeals to every generation,” said musical director Bradley Vieth, whose Arts Center credits include Hello, Dolly!, La Cage Aux Folles, Camelot and My Fair Lady. “Most of these songs made it to the top of the American Billboard charts.” The Arts Center production is fortunate to have Bradley as musical director; he composed the orchestrations and arrangements for the original, 2006 Off-Broadway production of Shout! at New York’s Julia Miles Theater. The show had played previously in London, staged more like a concert than a play, winning London’s Time Out magazine award for best musical of the year.
For the Off-Broadway production, American producer Victoria Lang suggested a show with characters that grew through their experiences, and a thread of story to tie their relationships. That’s where Bradley Vieth got involved. Brad saw the need to stay close to the original recordings, to evoke the emotions of memory. Yet his orchestrations served to make them work, to make them plausible within the story. Brad put together medleys and wove songs around dialog. The result is music brought to life.
Another Arts Center favorite, Casey Colgan, directed this production. He points to the five women onstage as keys to what makes Shout! unique. “They are their own characters, each defined by a color and representing a different personality.”
Hilton Head’s own Meredith Inglesby portrays one of them – the sensible one in orange. Meredith made her professional debut as Eliza Doolittle in
the Arts Center’s 1998 production of My Fair Lady, and went on to Broadway in Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. She was featured in the national tours of Little House on the Prairie, The Musical and Disney’s On the Record. “When I was offered the opportunity to come back home and perform in SHOUT!, I couldn’t pass it up,” Inglesby said. “I’m working hard, but I get to spend time with family and friends.”
The other stars of Shout! are K. Michelle Martin (Yellow), Ariel Tyler Page (Green), Kelsey Denae Schmitz (Blue) and Jen Brooks (Red).
Performances of SHOUT! are at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with Sunday shows at 7 p.m. A matinee will be performed at 2 p.m. July 8. Tickets are $42 ($29 for children 15 and younger). Call the box office at 842-ARTS (2787), or purchase tickets online at www.artshhi.com.