Decades in Concert: Spirit of the Sixties – Review by Tom Holehan

Like visiting with an old friend after far too long a break, a return to Bridgeport’s Downtown Cabaret Theatre conjured up fond memories as my husband and I took our table upstairs, set out the finest in charcuterie boards, poured a glass of wine and drank in the nostalgia offered by the venerable music venue. Currently onstage is “Decades in Concert: Spirit of the Sixties” and I can guarantee you will sing-along.

Modeled very much after the tried and true jukebox musical as well as all those “Decades Musicals” made famous at the Cabaret years ago, “Decades in Concert” continues their long tradition of presenting entertaining journeys back in time and rediscovering the great music of a particular period. The current production doesn’t attempt to improve on something that obviously ain’t broke. So, we have a quartet of four top singers, who obviously enjoy each other’s company (they were all featured in the Cabaret’s previous Seventies revue), and for the next two hours or so proceed to sing their hearts out.

Everton George, Mikayla Petrilla, Robert Peterpaul and Saige Bryan are the talented quartet put through their paces with dozens of songs and almost as many costume and wig changes while singing such classics as “Turn, Turn, Turn”, “Bad Moon Rising”, “The Times They Are a-Changin’”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, “Son of a Preacher Man”, “I’m Black and I’m Proud”, “These Boots Are Made for Walking”, “Satisfaction” and “Piece of My Heart”. The best numbers, however, are the medleys that end each act. A Motown songbook concludes the exuberant first act and a glorious medley of Beatles music is the perfect curtain for act two. I mean, honestly, is there anyone who DOESN’T love the Beatles??

In all, the singers work better together than as soloists, but there were no complaints among the joyful, on-their-feet crowd I sat with last weekend. Multi-media projections from the period recycle clips you’ve no doubt seen many, many times before, but it certainly sets the mood and, with the volume cranked up easily to 11, you won’t miss much. Axel Hammerman’s endlessly busy lighting and Lesley Neilson-Bowman’s period perfect costuming also keep you firmly in the 1960s.

No, nothing revolutionary or original here since the Cabaret obviously knows their audience. This is familiar comfort food as theatre and the wine and cheese, plus some great music, all went down very easily. “Decades in Concert: Spirit of the Sixties” continues at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre through May 15. For further information, call the box office at: 203.576.1636 or visit:

Tom Holehan is one of the founders of the Connecticut Critics Circle, a frequent contributor to WPKN Radio’s “State of the Arts” program and the Stratford Crier and Artistic Director of Stratford’s Square One Theatre Company. He welcomes comments at: His reviews and other theatre information can be found on the Connecticut Critics Circle website: