Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Raleigh/Durham

Beehive: The 60's Musical
Theatre Raleigh
Review by Garrett Southerland


The Cast
Photo by Jennifer Robertson
Whether it was clothes, hair or music, the 1960s served up a decade's worth of radical expression and change, especially for women. Beehive: The 60's Musical, playing at the Kennedy Theatre at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium through May 19, explores the music and the women who created it. With classic songs ranging from "My Boyfriend's Back" to "Cry Baby," the journey through not only a style of music but the messages the music carried comes to life in bright colors, rockin' tunes—and go-go boots.

Beehive: The 60's Musical is a revue and thus does not rely on a traditional narrative but rather showcases the songs, performed here by six outstanding women who all have individual moments to shine. A charismatic Destiny Diamond is Jasmine. Alison is played by the dynamic Dakota MacKay-McGee. Casey Wenger-Schulman vivaciously portrays Pattie. Gina is brought to life by the multi-talented Tyanna West. As Laura, Lydia D. Kinton's amazing range and belt could raise the roof the next building over. And Yolanda Rabun is magnificent as Wanda, channeling the likes of Lulu and Tina Turner, while at the same time making their classic songs uniquely her own.

Created by Larry Gallagher, the show features moments of monologue from the female characters, who reminisce about the decade and the historical events that served as instruments of change and inspiration, particularly in the areas of women's liberation and civil rights. With over thirty songs, some of them go by in a flash, but one cannot help tapping a foot or even singing along.

With the keen directorial eye of Tim Seib and upbeat choreography by Sherry Lee Allen, the revue is a seamless ninety minutes. Scenic design by Chris Bernier is simple yet stylized, with retro geometric designs in clean white, a perfect canvas for the extraordinary performances of the ensemble. Kaitlin Gill Rider's lighting design provides era-fitting pops of color and shapes to great effect.

Though this show seems to have a strongly feminist theme, most of the songs are about a woman pining for a man, with less attention given to songs of female empowerment, which became more prominent as the decade progressed. Even so, Beehive: The 60's Musical is exactly what it is intended to be. As Producing Artistic Director Lauren Kennedy Brady states, it is a musical that is "light, bright and fun, making one ready for the summer!" It's a much welcomed walk down memory lane.

Beehive: The 60's Musical, May 19, 2019, by Theatre Raleigh at the Kennedy Theatre, Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, 2 East South St., Raleigh NC. For tickets and information, visit http://www.theatreraleigh.com or call 919-832-9997.

Created by: Larry Gallagher
Direction: Tim Seib
Choreography: Sherry Lee Allen
Music Direction: Tracy Thomas
Scenic Design: Chris Bernier
Costume Design: LeGrande Smith
Sound Design: Eric Alexander Collins
Lighting Design: Kaitlin Gill Rider

Cast (in alphabetical order):
Jasmine: Destiny Diamond
Laura: Lydia D. Kinton
Alison: Dakota Mackay-McGee
Wanda: Yolanda Rabun
Pattie: Casey Wenger-Schulman
Gina: Tyanna West


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