|Cortney Wolfson as Romy and Stephanie Renee Wall as Michele in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion - Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka|
|Stephanie Renee Wall (Romy), Cortney Wolfson (Michele) and the cast of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion - Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka|
When Romy and Michele receive a reminder that their class reunion is happening in two weeks, they debate whether to attend or not. Once they agree to go, they are in a mad dash to come up with facetious ways to impress their classmates and hide the fact that they have next to nothing to show for an entire decade after graduation. They pretend to be business women, each claiming (separately) to have invented Post-it® Notes. The results of how they clumsily execute these falsehoods, along with revelations of their real feelings about and for each other, test their friendship and give the story the tension it needs to be more than a cliché.
|Cortney Wolfson (Romy White) and Stephanie Renee Wall (Michele Weinberger) in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion - Photo Credit Tracy Martin|
|Hannah Schuerman (Toby Walters) in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion - Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka|
Among those carrying wounds from the past are three quintessentially typical characters every class has. They are the rebel "bad girl" smoker Heather Mooney (Jordan Kai Burnett), the cheerful goody-goody, Toby Walters (Hannah Schuerman) who is nice to everyone, even those who laugh at her behind her back, and the nerdy guy whose attentions are always rejected, in this case Sandy Frink (Michael Thomas Grant). Like the two co-stars, all these other cast members, and the ensemble, gave outstanding performances.
|Jordan Kai Burnett (Heather Mooney) in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion - Photo Credit Tracy Martin|
Although the truths presented in this musical exist in every generation, certain aspects of the show can make the viewer aware of generational differences too. Its flavor, and rightfully so, is definitely of the 1980s and '90s, making those of us who were busy being parents by then feel uncomfortably old. The music stuck me as being a bit too loud, but I think people who did graduate in 1987 probably liked it that way. On the plus side, even with the volume up, I could hear and understand all the lyrics, so kudos to Christopher Walker's excellent sound design and the engineering. Some of the bright lights shining right in my eyes at times bothered me a little, but again, I might be extra sensitive to that. The lighting overall greatly enhanced this musical. It was definitely a visual treat in so many ways.
Of course it is silly. Of course some aspects of the plot seem farfetched. But we go to musicals to escape the real world for a couple of hours and be happily entertained. No one fulfills that wish with as much style, class, quality, and pizazz, or true success, as this wonderful venue. Considering all that, I guess I will end up repeating myself.
"The 5th Avenue Theatre has done it again!"
Treat yourself to the pleasure of Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. For your convenience, here's a link to the online box office.
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