Written by Abbey Williams // Photo by Macy Cox
The Searcy Summer Dinner Theatre (SSDT) successfully staged the jukebox musical “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” achieving a sold-out status on 12 occasions during the summer.
Senior Emma Myhan, who played Cindy Lou, said the show has themes of love and drama.
“The Marvelous Wonderettes is a show with four women, set in the 1950s in the first act and then the 1960s in the second act,” Myhan said. “We play four high school girls at their senior prom, and then when we come back in the second act, it is the 10-year reunion, and the show is just about love and drama. When the second act begins, you get to see what the girls have gone through in the last 10 years of their lives.”
Myhan said this performance choice specifically targeted the SSDT community.
“The community has reacted really well to this show,” Mayhan said. “It targets the SSDT audience, which is a lot of people who are in an older stage of their life, so we’ve had a lot of fun because a lot of the people who have come to the show so far have known a lot of the songs because it is a jukebox musical. We’ve had a good community response.”
Sophomore Stella Jones, who performed as Missy, said the community also engaged with the performance.
“The SSDT audience is usually older, so they knew the music and really enjoyed it,” Jones said. “There were even a few ladies who showed up in poodle skirts and letterman jackets.”
Jones said this year was different from past years because they performed two shows over the summer instead of the usual three. This allowed the cast and crew more time to set up and work in the Ulrey Performing Arts Center, where they performed the show.
Junior Maddie Canterbury, who played Betty Jean, said the characters in the performance are relatable.
“This [show] is, at first glance, just stereotypical women singing songs and dancing, but as you get to know them, you start to see bits and pieces of yourself in all four of the characters and just really start to feel with them and watch all four of them go through hard times but then come out the other side looking so much happier,” Canterbury said.
Canterbury said the audience could interact with the characters.
“There’s one part where we go out in the audience and interact with them, and so we would have so much fun just going up and messing with people that we know, but we couldn’t act like we knew them,” Canterbury said. “We would interact with them and try to get them on stage. I know we had Dr. Burks and his wife in the audience one night, so having them clap along to songs with us was so much fun.”