By: Sandi Durell
Whether you lived it, or are a recent visitor to the songs of peace, love, psychedelic images, and go-go dancers, this trip down memory lane is a jukebox musical sure to stir up the “Windmills of Your Mind” – the song that big voiced alto Laurie Wells sings to open the show (as well as “Both Sides Now” and “The Way of Love”). From the onset, you know a lot of big bucks have gone into this production from Osaka, Japan now playing at Stage 42 (the newly renamed Little Shubert Theater) on West 42nd Street. Don’t expect anything you have to think hard about . . . it’s all 60s music and tunes you can hum along with in an extravagant setting of colorful backdrops conceived by James Walski (who also directed and choreographed) and Robin Wagner along with Daniel Brodie’s striking projections.
There’s over 25 songs including a memorable “Wipe Out” (music only) as a good-looking cast of young, beautiful bodies, in matching swim outfits, surfboard and play in the waves, seguing into “Where the Boys Are.”
The loose theme of a young blonde cutie (Kelly Felthous – think Kristin Chenoweth) finding her way down the rabbit hole, looking for love, finds her payoff in blonde looker Austin Miller as they become romantically involved, eventually getting married and celebrating in a balloon that takes them “Up, Up and Away” (literally).
The pot smoking, fluorescent body painting crowd (“Venus”) has a grand ole time as barely clad Tara Palsha undulates on a giant mushroom with the go-go group in lava lamps as one scene and dance number segues into the next at record speed. Hot looking David Elder is cruising on a motorcycle to the tune of “It’s Not Unusual” as a bunch of screaming girls keep chasing him and then finds himself with “The Girl From Ipanema” and some gloriously costumed Latin dancers. Speaking of costumes, there are many; all colorful, sparkly and plentifully created by Gregg Barnes for the multitude of numbers. Joey Calveri finds himself in a fringed vest wondering “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” and “Blown in the Wind.”
Dionne Figgins is especially notable as a major dancer and singer in “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” (with the company reflected by surrounding moveable mirrors) and “Nowhere to Run.”
All in all, it’s a mash-up of many nostalgic 60s tunes, a high-energy cast, some terrific dance routines and fabulous costumes – so sit back and reflect on the past. But where are the Beatles?
“Trip of Love” Stage 42, 422 W. 42nd St. 212 239-6200 www.tripoflove.com – 1 hour, 50 minutes with intermission
*Photos: Matt Murphy