Feature photo: The cast of Beehive the ’60s Musical, by Mark Garvin
Beehive- The ‘60s Musical is the perfect show to welcome you back to live theatre in Philadelphia! You’re encouraged to clap your hands, tap your feet and sing along. Sitting still during this celebration of timeless female voices- like Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, Dusty Springfield, Lesley Gore, Carole King, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner- is impossible!
Six young women, played by Lindsey Bliven, Bonnie Kelly, Ayana Major Bey, Sarah Gallo, Karissa Harris, and Felicia Boswell, transform into these iconic singers and more to send audiences back to the 1960s. Whether you remember the years well or have only heard about this pivotal decade, Beehive will make it all come alive again.
The show’s creator, Larry Gallagher, carefully curated the choice of songs by researching Top 10 records of the ‘60s week-by-week. Gallagher felt it was important to explore the connection between social shifts like the women’s movement, and the artists and pop music of that era. You see how these six women go from bubbly and carefree to a bit of a serious tone as act two begins and we see The Vietnam War and a beautiful version of “Abraham, Martin and John.”
There’s a lot of fun in this show though. You’ll warm up with “The Name Game” and immediately start singing with “It’s My Party” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Over 30 songs you know and love are part of this rollercoaster trip to the 1960s! I bet your favorite tunes are on the list! One of the highlights of the evening was the Tina Turner performance featuring “River Deep Mountain High” and “Proud Mary”, immediately moving us to “Chain of Fools” and Aretha!
Beehive is Choreographer and Director Richard Stafford’s 16th production at the Walnut. His more recent credits at the theatre include Legally Blonde and Mamma Mia! He has also worked on Sister Act, Memphis, Curtains, Cats, La Vie en Blue, Evita, and La Cage Aux Folles.
Chris Burcheri returns for his second season as the main stage music director with credits including Young Frankenstein and Shrek.
Scenic Designer Brian Froonjian and Lighting Designer Matthew DeMascolo really pull the show together. You feel like you’re part of an American Bandstand type show, recorded live as you’re in the audience! They help make the atmosphere totally ’60s! Of course, Costume Designer Mary Folino tops off the show with perfectly picked outfits that look like they are straight out of a time capsule!
This is a really unique show that reminds us of the music and history in the 1960s! Head back to Walnut (finally!) and celebrate some really good music together. Beehive- The ‘60s Musical runs through 10/31. Tickets are available here.