Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

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By Ron Irwin
Observer Staff Writer 

Sequel to American Graffiti Serves Humor, Reminder of High School Quirks and Oddities

'The Marvelous and more Wonderettes.' Zany passion at the Sierra Madre Playhouse


Dave Randall

Kelsey Boze

The year is 1958 and the location is Springfield High School or pretty much any high school in Anytown USA and it is senior prom night. The entertainment is being provided by four lovely young ladies calling themselves "The Marvelous Wonderettes." Not just "The Wonderettes" mind you but "The Marvelous Wonderettes."

A pleasing plethora of mid 1950's era pop music flows with sweet harmony from the stage as "The Marvelous Wonderettes" Cindy Lou [Kelsey Boze], Suzy [Kelly Klopocinski] Betty Jean [Kate Ponzio] and Missy [Afton Quast] exquisitely deliver a medley of period pop songs such as "All I Have to do is Dream, Born Too Late, Goodnight Sweetheart" and "Dream Lover" plus many more. No rap, just real music aimed mainly at the teen population where most of us have been at least once. But then there is the drama and some sassy humor.

The prom queen has yet to be crowned and all four girls on stage and one who is absent are in the race prompting a wild ride of jibs and jabs by and between the girls as they compete against each other for the crown. The four actors fully engage the audience as they, the audience, are invited to cast their ballots for prom Queen. By the time act one concludes we have a winner and it is time for the four "Wonderettes" to move on with their post high school lives.

So in act two the "Wonderettes" are reunited at a tenth high school reunion. What happened to each of them as their post high school lives provide another serving of drama, humor and 1960's era music.

All in all "The Marvelous Wonderettes" is a truly excellent serving of humor and a reminder of the many quirks and oddities of high school life in particular and for that matter life in general. Virtually everyone who sees the show will connect with at least some of the behaviors and many of the songs even if they weren't on the "Top 40" during your life.

"The Marvelous Wonderettes" does a great job of generating warm feelings, lots of giggles and most likely more than a few fond memories. While not precisely accurate I thought that in many ways "The Marvelous Wonderettes" is the prequel to "American Graffiti." But however you define this show it is absolutely deserving of your time.

Kelly Klopocinski

"The Marvelous Wonderettes" is playing now at the perfect venue the Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Boulevard, Sierra Madre, California now through August 26th. Show dates and times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. There will also be three Saturday matinees at 2:30 p.m. August 12, 19 and 26. Make your reservation by calling: 626-355-4318 and tickets may be purchased online at: There is abundant free parking available and several great choices for dining nearby the theatre. But despite the lyrics of the song you really do need to do a little bit more than dream, you need to see the show to get fully immersed in its magic.

For another excellent art form look at this:


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