The audience went on a musical trip through the sixties with the cast of SHOUT! The Mod Musical at the Ernest Borgnine Theater in Long Beach, California. Wearing mini- skirts and go-go boots, five women living in London sing their way through the decade which created tremendous social change for women.
It is a fun and nostalgic time for many audience members who get a chance to pull their bell-bottom pants and hippie beads out of the moth-balls for the night and wear them to the show. Others are delighted to hear the songs of the sixties for the first time.
Punctuated by comedic vignettes from a “Dear Abby” style advice columnist, the women belt out new arrangements of classic tunes that portray the culture and the feel of the times. Classic tunes include “To Sir With Love,” “Downtown,” and Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Were Made for Walkin.” The advice columnist (played by Barbara Bond) reads letters and responds with shockingly conservative advice about subjects such as sexuality, birth control, and marriage. The women reply in song, and we see their attitudes change as we move through the decade.
The songs of the late bisexual singer/song-writer, Dusty Springfield, are featured prominently. The upbeat pop hit that Springfield’s solo career began with in 1963 with, “I Only Want to Be with You,” is performed by Andi Jones and the ensemble sing early in the program. Among the Springfield hits that follow are “Wishin’ and Hopin’” (1964), “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself” (1964), “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” (1966), and “Son of a Preacher Man” (1968).
The all-female cast includes singer and director Andi Jones, who studied and toured in Amsterdam; Los Alamitos High SoundFX Choir alumni, Zoe Preall; It also showcases the talents of Ginger Klee, Jen Walquist, and Tanya Times. Times also performs with South Coast Chorale, Long Beach’s Diversity Chorus. Los Alamitos High’s Serena Murre and Kai Yoshida round out the cast as the “Mod Girls.
Early in the sixties, Dusty Springfield and her managers worried that she would lose her career if her sexual orientation was exposed. The presence of her music in this production illustrates how much has changed. This production shows the progression in song.
The show is 90 minutes without an intermission. This production was made possible by a special arrangement with Musical Theater International by Andi Jones Music & Productions, a non-profit. The show was created by Phillip George and David Lowenstein, and originally produced in New York City.
Shout! The Mod Musical, at the Ernest Borgnine Theatre at the Scottish Rite Event Center at 855 Elm Avenue, Long Beach California July 10 through 26th, 2015. To purchase tickets online via PayPal, click here. Will call, cash and credit cards will be accepted at the door. For more information, please call 562.881.6847.