The Marvelous Wonderettes @ Westside Theatre Upstairs
(L-R) . beth malone . victoria matlock . bets malone . farah alvin .
. show .
The Marvelous Wonderettes is a sparkly, candy-coated delight of a jukebox musical set at the Springfield High School Super Senior Prom in 1958. The night's entertainment is provided by the Springfield High School Song Leaders: super sporty Betty Jean Reynolds (Beth Malone), prom queen wannabe Cindy Lou Huffington (Victoria Matlock), daffy girl-next-door Suzy Simpson (Bets Malone) and anxious overachiever Missy Miller (Farah Alvin). Rivalries and secret crushes emerge throughout the night as the girls serenade their classmates with gorgeous pop songs from the 1950s in four-part harmony. The prom ends happily for some, in tears for others... and the story of their lives picks up ten years later, at the girls' high school reunion.
. character .
In Beth's own words: "Betty Jean has often been described as a tomboy, which is accurate, but I mostly think of her as very eager to please, to fit in and be like the other girls because she knows she's just not. So Betty Jean is the first one to laugh at herself. If anyone is going to make a joke about her, it's going to be her first, which can sometimes lead to inappropriate behavior." [source]
For more insight into how Beth chose to create the character of Betty Jean, check out her Cat On The Prowl interview here.
. production history .
The Marvelous Wonderettes started out as a one-act play in 1999, featuring the only cast member who has remained throughout the ten years it took for the show to transfer to New York: Bets Malone in the role of Suzy Simpson. There were a number of smaller productions of the show in the interim, but the first truly recognisable production of the show - bearing the most similarities to what is still being performed today at the Westside Theatre Upstairs - was staged in 2003 at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse in California. This production featured Beth as Betty Jean, Kirsten Benton as Cindy Lou and Kim Huber as Missy.
Copyright issues meant that the show was left on the shelf for a number of years after the Hermosa Beach run, but it has since seen a spin-off featuring the same quartet of characters (Winter Wonderettes) as well as two enormously successful productions on the west coast: at the El Portal theatre for an unprecedented 19-month run (from 2006) and a limited seven-week engagement (July 8 - August 31) at the Laguna Playhouse. Beth, unfortunately, could not participate in either run due to her other work commitments. [more details & press]
The Marvelous Wonderettes @ Hermosa Beach
(L-R) . kirsten benton . beth malone . kim huber . bets malone .
. reviews .
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. media .
. trivia .