‘SHOUT’ AT DIAMOND HEAD THEATRE IS DANDY AS CANDY FOR THESE PANDEMIC TIMES
“Shout: The Mod Musical,” now at the Diamond Head Theatre (through March 28), has a soundtrack jammed with 1960s-early ’70s pop hits mostly with British roots), a modest storyline about five women with life and love issues, and robotic choreography that captures the spirit of the era.
An off-Broadway blast from the past, “Shout’ enables DHT to return to producing shows with a cast of five women, singing to taped music in front of a single set of rectangles and squares depicting five hues – red, green, yellow, orange and blue – with each character designated by the colors. With pandemic practices in place, the theater can only fill 25 pct of its seats and drastically modified the niceties of theater-going: no playbill to identify the performers, which signals a lack of courtesy and respect to the cast. Of course, the audience is masked, with social distancing, and there is neither an intermission nor an apres-show meet-and-greet.
Yet the cast soldiers on, delivering credible performances despite the wafer-thin storyline.
“Shout” is mostly about the nostalgic tunes – popularized by the likes of Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Marianne Faithful, The Seekers, and others – so you may leave the theater humming a fave like “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” “Georgy Girl,”
“Downtown,” “Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” “To Sir, With Love,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “I Know a Place,” and “You’re My World.” Even “Goldfinger.”
Those were the days, and these were the songs.
The show’s title alludes to a Brit tabloid dubbed, what else, SHOUT, and Red, Green, Yellow, Blue and Orange (as the roles are defined) also share monologues of gripes and issues sent to the magazine’s advice columnist.
The show is like a huge candy jar, with eye-filling vibrant costume colors, as well as the chirpy and contagious music, providing joyful nibbles and sweetness.
John Rampage directed and choreographed with his usual measure of syncopated fun and expression, inspired by that mound of music. There might be repetition in the motion, but the end result is a delightful dance-a-thon. However, take caution: dancing in the aisles is not allowed, but occasional sing-alongs and clap-alongs are welcome.
The show runs Fridays through Sundays, through March 28; some performances are sold out. Tickets: $22, at www.diamondheadtheatre.com