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‘Now That’s Entertainment’ revisits movie musicals

By Staff | Jul 2, 2009

If you’ve already seen “Where the Girls Are,” you might consider checking out “Now That’s Entertainment,” an original Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater musical revue that pays homage to classic Disney and movie musicals.

Staying true to its name, this high-energy musical production is great fun for the whole family.

The talented cast is silly, serious and superb all at the same time, an affect best achieved during the ensemble’s subdued, yet tonally rich a capella performance of “We Go Together” from “Grease.”

Kailie Torres’ cheery and operatic trills are magical – and rightfully so, as she plays Mary Poppins herself during the cast’s tribute to the classic Disney musical. In contrast, her lovesick rendition of “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from “Grease” is genuinely lovely.

Tammy Truitt sparkles as the curiously longing Princess Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” and might just bring a tear to your eye as she takes the stage as Rizzo from “Grease.”

Samantha Rotella, as with the rest of the cast, is an absolute joy to watch – from her wondrous and melodic portrayal of Princess Jasmine of “Aladdin” to her spunky yet soulful rendition of “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” from “Footloose.”

Olivia Miller – the little girl with the really big voice – is a true vocal treasure as she nails the roles of Flounder from “The Little Mermaid” and a much more mini-Tracy Turnblad from “Hairspray.”

Bobby Logue, who normally acts behind the scenes at the theater, takes center stage with his solo as Prince Eric from the Broadway musical “The Little Mermaid” and during a magnificent duet with Rotella in “A Whole New World” from the animated Disney classic “Aladdin.”

But even though Logue isn’t present on the stage during the entire production, his clever choreography throughout the show continues to remind us just how talented he is.

Schoolhouse artistic director Victor Legarreta – who wrote and directed the show – is always a comic delight, bravely taking on such roles as little Michael Banks of “Mary Poppins,” Edna Turnblad of “Hairspray” and Ursula from “The Little Mermaid.” (And keep an eye out for a vocally powerful yet simultaneously hilarious duet with Truitt during the “Footloose” tribute.)

Musical director Justin Cowan, who’s responsible for the production’s musical arrangements and playing piano during the show is, as always, flawless.

“Now That’s Entertainment” will runs every Wednesday and Saturday until Aug. 15. The show begins at 7 p.m.

Sister show “Where the Girls Are,” a high-energy tribute to some of the music world’s most beloved girl groups, runs every Tuesday and Thursday until Aug. 15.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 children 16 and under. Call the box office, 472-6862, for tickets.

The Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater is located at 2200 Periwinkle Way.