THE JUKEBOX EXPLODES IN “GOIN’ TO THE CHAPEL”
BONNIE GOLDBERG 203-397-5433
Teenagers are often preoccupied with bouts of puppy love, going steady, getting their hearts broken, pledging eternal devotion, wearing varsity pins, and all the other diversions that make these adolescent years so dramatic and traumatic. To get a glimpse into your past, no matter how many years ago your high school years were, hop and bop over to the Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin for Valerie Fagan’s world premiere musical “Goin’ to the Chapel” with arrangements and orchestrations by Bryan Crook playing weekends until Saturday, December 16.
If you can find your black leather jacket or pink poodle skirt, you’ll feel right at home as you meet the cool gang. You’ll be just in time to see Johnny (Tony Galli) promise his heart to Suzy (Maria Pompile) for forever and a day, or at least until a new guy, a wild guy, rides into town.
When Jon Escobar’s Eddie breezes in, with danger as his middle name, Suzy and her gal pals Judy (Kristin Iovene) and Robin (Carleigh Cappetta Schultz) are soon all gaga over the exciting new possibilities. Johnny and his friend Kenny (Rick Bennett) are initially bent out of shape by Eddie’s evident allure, but a hearty dose of “Love Potion #9” awakens their macho spirits.
While all these hook ups and break ups are happening, the group of six salute the 1950’s and 1960’s with an exploding juke box of classic hits like “Rock Around the Clock,” “Johnny Angel,” “All Shook Up,” “Fever,” “It’s in his Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song),” “Duke of Earl,” “Ring of Fire” and “Bye, Bye Love, among many others, all played with pizzazz by Nathaniel Baker and his lively band.
By the end of the night, you will agree that “rock and roll is here to stay” and also that teen romances are destined to last about a minute and a half. Kris McMurray holds the dance cards for all the revolving couples until it looks like they are all “Goin’ to the Chapel” for eternal vows.
For tickets ($30), call the Connecticut Cabaret Theatre, 31 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online atwww.ctcabaret.com. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Remember to bring goodies to share at your table or plan to buy desserts and drinks on site.
Come and apply your Bonnie Bell Grape Lip Smackers liberally so you’re all set to discover “who wrote the book of love” and why “breaking up is hard to do.”