PHOTO: In the cast of Let Me Be Frank Productions’ “Bay Beach Dance Party” are, front row from left, Frank Hermans, Meghan Linehan, Amy Riemer, Hope Klessig, Tom Verbrick, Pat Hibbard, Lisa Borley, Kasey Corrado, Kristin Brockman and David Gusloff, and back row from left, Jeff Arnold, Adam Cain and Dennis Panneck. Let Me Be Frank Productions photo
This show features a lot of dancing, a lot of good singing (as usual) and youthful newcomers who fit right in with all the singing and dancing and joshing around like this is their usual thing to do.
Creative: Co-writers – Frank Hermans, Pat Hibbard; vocal coach – Amy Riemer; band leader – Dennis Panneck.
Cast: Lisa Borley, Kristin Brockman, Kasey Corrado, David Gusloff, Frank Hermans, Pat Hibbard, Hope Klessig, Meghan Linehan, Amy Riemer, Tom Verbrick.
Band: Jeff Arnold, keyboards; Adam Cain, drums; Pat Hibbard, bass; Dennis Panneck, guitar.
“Downtown” – Lisa Borley, female cast
“Dream a Little Dream of Me” – Kasey Corrado
“Tell Her No” – David Gusloff
“Baby It’s You” – Amy Riemer
“Oh, What a Night” – Frank Hermans
“Side-Winder” – Band instrumental
“Everybody Loves a Clown” – Pat Hibbard
“To Sir With Love” – Hope Klessig
“Guitarzan” – Tom Verbrick
“Mr. Sandman” – Lisa Borley, Kristin Brockman, Kasey Corrado, Hope Klessig, Meghan Linehan, Amy Riemer
“Telstar” – Kristin Brockman dance, band instrumental
“(Your Love is Like a) See Saw” – Amy Riemer
“Wonderful Summer” – Lisa Borley
“Along Came Mary” – David Gusloff
“Good Luck Charm” – Frank Hermans
“Sunday Will Never Be the Same” – Kasey Corrado
“I Can’t Let Go” – Amy Riemer
“Where the Action Is” – Pat Hibbard
This show is chatty (comically so) as it concentrates on developing the characters (to set up situations for songs). In a sense, the story is a longggggggggggg setup for “Along Came Mary.” It seems there once was a Mary who got between the glee club directors for
More than other Frank’s shows, this one is about dancing and movement. It starts at the top of each of the two acts. First, Lisa Borley fires up “Downtown” as rest of the female cast nips through synchronized action that’s full of vitality. To open Act II, Kristin Brockman glides through an impressionistic dance as the band plays the historic+ “Telstar.” In between, dance spices many songs as an add-on feature. As Frank Hermans sings one song, seated dancers play with the rhythms. As Amy Riemer sings another song, she and her backup singers gracefully add flowing arm movements.
In some songs, there is no dancing as the focus is on the singer. One example: Kasey Corrado, seated, pouring the soft side of her voice into the dreamy “Dream a Little Dream of Me.” Very nice.
Many of the songs in the show are from the light side of the ’60s era. And then Amy Riemer comes along with powerhouse R&B songs, and the earth moves. A totally different, darker texture.
Among the characters, Tom Verbrick’s icky guy who likes/loves/desires/craves all the girls is the corker. Tommy wears a poke-in-the-eye sweater that his mother made for him; it was supposed to be a hot pad “but it got out of hand.”
As the dueling choir directors, Frank Hermans and David Gusloff spark big laughs in a “fight” scene. Along with everything else, Frank Hermans can do comedic reaction, too.
This production has a bit of alchemy – that mystical chemistry by which various seemingly unlikely ingredients are put together and with some hocus pocus gold is produced. In the case of “Bay Beach Dance Party,” the ingredients are college student Meghan Linehan, 16-year-old Hope Klessig and dancer Kristin Brockman and – presto – the show has a fresh feel. Frank Hermans, Amy Riemer and the company set them up to succeed, and the girls look and sound more than good. The vocal chemistry is most evident at the end of Act I in the 1954 No. 1 hit song by The Chordettes of Sheboygan, “Mr. Sandman.” Color and harmony are fused by the singers, and the sound is sensational. You’d never guess the song is 60 years old. Wonderful. Fabulous. Can’t say enough how good the song comes off.
+ The tune captures history: Telstar was a communication satellite that amazingly brought live pictures from anywhere in the world for the first time, and the song embraces the wonder. “Telstar” was a No. 1 hit in the
REST OF SEASON: “The Guernsey Boys: Behind the Music,” Sept. 19-Oct. 11; “A Frank’s Christmas,” Nov. 21-Dec. 27.
THE VENUE: Stop and look around the place. It’s an eye full. The
THE PEOPLE: Robert Meyer was president and chief executive officer of Tape Inc. of
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