Musical Wheels Spin and Win at Cape Playhouse
No Prob with disaffected Patrons This Week!
By Libby Hughes
“Pete n’ Keely” is a no-brainer musical in Dennis. Wear a smile, kick back any worries, and let the tunes wash over you. The opening night audience was in sync with the duo on stage and dished out plenty of applause. It had everything a summer audience wanted—broad comedy, variety, energy, marital spats, pathos, and a medley of songs woven around it all. The Playhouse is down to the count of number five in the season with one more to go.
Theme reminiscent of Sonny and Cher
The action takes place in a live telecast studio in New York City around 1968. It’s kind of corny, but no one cares. Pete and Keely are a song and dance team, who had been married a long time and then divorced. Now, they were getting back together after five years apart as solo, and not so successful, entertainers. Will it work? Will they get back together romantically? On the very day of the Playhouse opening night, actress Kate Hudson and rocker Chris Robinson announced it would be splitsville for them in real life. Does it remind you of Sonny and Cher, Edie Gorme and Steve Lawrence, Lucy and Desi? One could go down the list.
Glamorous Costumes win the prize
Actor/singer James Hindman, a native of Michigan, wrote the show, and he managed to snare the icon of all icons in Hollywood—Bob Mackie—to design the costumes. They will knock your eyes out. Hollywood pizazz and glamour are written all over Keely’s costumes. Pete has well cut suits and jackets in handsome materials with bell bottom trousers of the late 1960s.
The two performers never let up or down for a moment. They sang 22 songs of original (and some old standards) by Patrick Brady and lyrics by Mark Waldrop. Sally Mayes (above) as Keely let us see and hear the breadth of her amazing vocal range in “Still/But Beautiful” and “Black Coffee.” George Dvorsky (above) as Pete played the same role in the Off Broadway production. Mr. Dvorsky is obviously immensely talented with a powerful voice. He reminds us of a young Robert Goulet. Their costume changes were quick and slick.
Comedy pieces and stage business for every vignette were carefully crafted by Mark Martino, who did a fantastic job with “Guys and Dolls” earlier in July.
Much credit belongs to Musical Director James Followell and his three piece combo. Followell also plays the part of Dell DeCosta, piano player for Pete n’ Keely.
But celeb Evans Haile, artistic director, wowed us with his unexpected role of the Announcer. What a pro. He plays a mean piano, too, and will be part of the 80th season celebrations on August 20.
“Pete n’ Keely” will have no problem packing the theatre with patrons and visitors.. Performances run Aug. 14 through Aug. 26. Monday through Saturday at 8:00 pm. Matinees, Wed. at 2:00pm; Saturday 8/19 at 4:00pm; Thursday 8/24 at 2:00pm. Cape Playhouse is located at 820 Route 6A in Dennis. Call 508-385-3911.