By Vanessa Wolf
Don’t worry, guys. We’ve got your back. A musical about five beautiful women finding themselves in the 1960s probably isn’t your cup of tea… or is it?
Either way, the show is set in London during the start of the 60s and spans the decade. The plot is focused on the life and problems of five women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who all send letters regarding personal issues to Gwendolyn Holmes, the advice columnist for the magazine “Shout!”
The characters are identified by color rather than name and there are many interpretations as to what the show is really about.
To give you a better sense, we spoke to three of the leading actresses in the Wailuku production to get their take on their character, the show itself, and why you – men and women alike – “must” go.
Jonna Ahn plays the Blue character.
She is “the pretty girl who has no friends. She is a bit conceited and very concerned with her looks. She is wealthy and seems to have it all, however she has some internal struggles and questions regarding her sexuality.”
Ahn feels the show is about women and “some of the struggles that they face in relationships. Each girl writes to an advice columnist who in return gives them really bad, male chauvinistic advice (which is actually pretty humorous). The show is set in the 60s during a time when women were less liberated than they are today, however, along the way you see these women come into their own. They start to realize that they can be who they are, love who they love, and not succumb to what society says they should or shouldn’t be, or what role they are required to play based on their gender.”
As for the hard sell, Ahn told us, “One inarguable reason people should see the show – if for nothing else – are the fun, recognizable songs. They are all songs that were actually written and performed by artists in the 1960s and 70s. It is also a very funny show, which I didn’t realize until our first read-through. There are some really great moments, and some really great talent.”
Alison Mikes plays the part of the yellow girl. She is the “only American of the bunch. She is brassy, loud, and sometimes thoughtless. However, by the end of the show, you realize there is more to her than meets the eye. Yellow girl is super fun to play and sing!”
Mikes also feels the show will appeal to many because of the music. “However, I think the message speaks toward unity, solidarity, and the simple fact that people from all walks of life can support one another and really connect. I feel a big message of the show is ‘Woman Power’. Each of the women find their own voice throughout the show. It may not always be what you think, though. People are always more than meets the eye, and this show definitely hits on that.”
Mikes’ favorite moment potentially doubles as a compelling reason to head to Wailuku. She spoke of a scene where the “five characters get stoned together. Being the mother of two small girls, this is not something that goes on in our household! It is so fun to play, and hopefully, the audience finds it amusing to watch. My favorite thing about the show would have to be the connections that start to form between the characters. They are heartfelt, warming and I think will really speak to most people. There is something for everyone.”
Lina Aiko Krueger plays the green character, who she describes as “a bit of a slut.”
She explains that Shout! “takes you on a decade-cross-section-journey of societal evolution and illustrates the resulting impact on, and empowerment of five specific female character types.”
Krueger may be a bit of a method actress, as she shared that her favorite thing about the show was singing the word “vagina.”
If that isn’t enough, her inarguable pitch (aimed directly at you gentleman, it would seem) is that it’s a “racy, fun-filled night of 60s and 70s music you know sung by a varied sextuple of Maui girls. (hehe… I said ‘sex’.)”
1960s hits, vagina songs, and five beautiful, occasionally stoned women: decide for yourself if this is your kind of fun when the show opens this Friday (also Wailuku First Friday) at the Iao Theater at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $17 to 28.
Old Wailuku Grill is doing a three-course girls night out prefix dinner every Friday and Saturday during the run (except First Friday) for $30. The meal offers a salad, choice of fish, steak or veggie entree with brownies and ice cream for dessert.
Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (@mauinow.com)