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Cape Playhouse season opens with "Something Wonderful"

Rodgers and Hammerstein tunes make for "Some Enchanted Evening"
L-R: Georgia Tapp, Kevin Earley, Susan Powell, Bret Shuford, Leah Hocking and Evans Haile at the grand piano. During  "Some Enchanted Evening" number at the Cape Playhouse Monday night. Photo by Kathleen Fahle.
L-R: Georgia Tapp, Kevin Earley, Susan Powell, Bret Shuford, Leah Hocking and Evans Haile at the grand piano. During "Some Enchanted Evening" number at the Cape Playhouse Monday night. Photo by Kathleen Fahle.

A slightly damp, but very enthusiastic crowd greeted the 2013 season of the Cape Playhouse at the theater's new starting time Monday night.  The playhouse began its 87th season with Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein

The musical is a greatest hits showcase of the talented super duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.  Five very talented singers and two incredible pianists (one of who was producing artistic director Evans Haile) tackled more than 30 songs from some of the best shows of the American stage.

Considered one of the greatest partnerships in musical history, Rodgers (the composer) and Hammerstein (the lyrics man), teamed up in the 1940s and created some of the most award-winning and memorable musicals of all times.

If you are of a certain age, a showtune chanteuse or an old soul (and there were a handful of youngsters there Monday night), you'll be delighted by the endless stream of Rodgers and Hammerstein tunes.  Although the lyrics are at times dated and trite, your tapping toes forces you to forget guys and gals really don't carry on like that these days.

The production features five talents with some big pipes--four seasoned pros: Kevin Earley, Bret Shuford, Leah Hocking and Susan Powell and a relative newcomer making her Playhouse debut, Georgia Tapp.

The talented group worked their way through pensive soliquies, lovestruck duets and hearty diddies all masterfully woven together.  With no dialogue to frame or connect the songs, the artfully chosen order, subject matter and mood kept the show flowing.

Diehard fans will know all the tunes while those who have seen one or two of Rodgers and Hammerstein's masterpieces like as Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I and the Sound of Music will recognize the most popular including Maria, There is Nothing Like a Dame and the eponymous Some Enchanted Evening.

All truly talented, Hocking definitely stole the show with her coy and unabashedly sexy rendition of Can't Say No from Oklahoma.

It was a surprise and pleasure to see the always affable and very talented Evans Haile tickling the ivories with fellow pianist Tony Geralis.  Their Carousel Waltz was mesmerizing and the chemistry between the two musicians and the singers bolstered the energy of the show.

The show also features a special surprise just before intermission--too good to give away.

The stage design created a bold showcase for the songs--a sweeping marble staircase, heavy stage curtains and lighting that mirrored the mood of the songs.

Hocking also soloed on A Bell is No Bell from Cinderella which includes the lyrics, "a song is no song until you sing it." And that is what they do and do well in Some Enchanted Evening.

At the request of ticket holders, this 87th season features a new starting time of 7:30 p.m. which promises to get the audience home and tucked in a half hour earlier than previous seasons.

Some Enchanted Evening is running June 10 through June 22 at the Cape Playhouse, 820 Route 6A in Dennis, 877-385-3911. Shows are Monday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., matinees are Wednesdays and the second Thursday at 2 p.m. and the first Saturday at 3:30p.m.

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