BEEHIVE: THE 60S MUSICAL now playing from New Village Arts brings the songs and the personality of the 1960s into musical technicolor. This live show is running through July 25th at the Flower Fields stage in Carlsbad.
The cast includes Eboni Muse, Natasha Baenisch, Bibi Mama, Erin Vanderhyde, Brittany Carrillo, Rae Henderson, and Megan Carmitchel as women recalling and celebrating the music and the contributions of women during the 1960s.
This production is a musical retrospective of the decade, starting with the girl group songs and then showing how the cultural change in the second half of the decade is reflected in the music coming out. Directed by Kristianne Kurner, there is a lot of energy, girl power, and history onstage, featuring moments to highlight notable women and their contributions to the decade and beyond.
The first half of the show fares less well under the more empowered perspective since the song lyrics don’t really support it that well. The early part of the decade is a lot more bubble gum naivete which makes for good music but makes the strong empowerment vibe feel a bit forced. For instance, The Angel’s “My Boyfriend’s Back” is a great song and performed well, but doesn’t truly fit the vibe with lyrics like “My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble.”
The second act is where everything feels like it really comes together, highlighting the music that was expressing the coming into their own that women were feeling in society. From “You Don’t Own Me” to Aretha’s “Respect” the gear shift between the first and last parts of these decades must have been a hell of a thing to live through.
The performers all have an easy rapport with one another and are a fun and diverse group that supports each other well no matter the combination of the songs. Each gets a chance to shine in solos, and the Music Direction by Kyrsten Hafso-Koppman allows them to put their own twist to these classic songs to showcase their personalities and vocal power. There is not a lot of dancing per se, the movement and choreography by Alyssa “Ajay” Junious is fun and full of energy.
The colorful set by Kirsten E. Flores uses color and shapes that are immediately recognizable as the era, and there are pictures of influential women posted as well to show the women that were working to make a difference. Check out their Instagram where they are posting pictures of the women with a brief description and history to learn more about them!
Costumes by Faith A. James, wigs by Missy Bradstreet, and lighting by Ashley Bietz complete the picture and bring the show together. Sound by Evan Eason had some glitches, but outdoors can be tricky and everything was sorted very quickly.
BEEHIVE: THE 60S MUSICAL is fun, has some great music, and features a talented cast at an outdoor venue – what ore could ask for in a summer program?
BEEHIVE is running through July 25, 2021, for ticket and performance information go to www.newvillagearts.org
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BEEHIVE THE 60S MUSICAL
Created by Larry Gallagher
Directed by Kristianne Kurner
Music Direction by Kyrsten Hafso-Koppman
Choreography by Alyssa Ajay Junious
Lighting Design by Ashley Bietz
Wig Design by Missy Bradstreet
Sound Design Evan Eason
Stage Manager Alexis Ellis-Alvarez
Set Design by Kristen E. Flores
Costume Design by Faith A. James