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Dads! The Musical
At St. Lawrence Stage Co., Brockville, ON, July 5-21, 2001
So far the season at the St. Lawrence Stage Company in Brockville can be summed up in three little wordslots of fun. DADS! THE MUSICAL is a co-production with the Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover and provides a lively and entertaining evening. It tells the stories of three house-husbands and how they cope with their new babies while their wives go to work. With a cast of 3 men and 1 woman, it's perfectly delightful summer fare.
DADS! was written and directed by Robert More, who also has extensive credits both as an actor and as a father of four. Composer Tom Doyle has written a tuneful score and provides an accomplished piano accompaniment.
The clever set is designed by Brock Lumsden and is effectively lit by Wendy Greenwood. Jocelyn Sobeski's costumes are colorful and inventive, particularly those of The Woman. With so many lightning changes, the price of Velcro must have gone up last week! No credit is given for sound, but as usual with the St. Lawrence Stage Company it's wonderful. What a pleasure it is to go to a musical where nothing sounds canned or is over-amplified and yet every note is clear as a bell! The young man running the board is to be commended.
Greg Campbell as Charles, Murray Farrow as Joey and Brett McCaig as Kirk are all experienced actors with major credits. All three are well cast and very believable. As a matter of fact, one of the nicest things about the show is that the casting of the men is so well balanced. They each have a chance to shine vocally in such songs as "Latin Was Easier", "The Oh So Colicky Blues", and "The Testosterone Tango". Well-you get the idea. They also sound great singing together, especially in the closing number with the addition of Naomi Emmerson as The Woman. The four voices blend in really nice harmony, some of it a cappella.
Speaking of Naomi Emmerson, she has fallen part way into the trap presented by a multiple character role. Her playing of the various wives is very nice, but the other characters drift into caricature. For instance, why is the pediatrician Russian? However these are minor flaws. She gets to sing what I think is my favorite songa lovely country-style duet with Kirk called "Last Table."
The babies, including a set of red-headed twins, are hilarious. Mr. More has outdone himself, but I don't want to give away the surprise. Suffice it to say you'll love them.
All in all, it's a really enjoyable show. On a scale of one to five, the St. Lawrence Stage Company's production of DADS! THE MUSICAL gets four and three quarters maple leaves. For North Country Public Radio, I'm Connie Meng.