Founder and Artistic Director, Chuck Yates, has once again assembled a “dream team” of actors, directors and designers who deliver at every turn. The Andrews Brothers is all fluff, to be sure, but it is presented with such panache, polish and style that the diversion from anything with more depth is just what the doctor ordered. I can’t think of a better description than a very old-fashioned word – “delightful”! It was absolutely delightful. I LOVED THIS SHOW and you will too.
Let’s start with the actors – each and every one masterful and quite magic! If you looked in the Broadway dictionary under “triple threat” you would, undoubtedly, find their headshots and resumes. There was so much craft and skill going on on that stage that it was truly an embarrassment of riches, Michael Paternostro (Lawrence) is pure charm and charisma from word go, backed up by a song and dance style and finesse that begs the question – “what if Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire had a baby?” Jamie Torcellini (Max) has a wonderfully commanding presence and is the perfect “anchor” to the quartet. Bets Malone, no surprise, is absolutely wonderful and engaging as the pin-up Peggy. Larry Raben (Patrick) is nothing short of magic! It is difficult to take your eyes off of every subtle nuance he brings to his character, even when he is not intended to be the center of attention. The show requires a lot of slap-stick, “Three Stooges-esque” staging that can come off as awkward and embarrassing in the wrong hands – but not this quartet. They handle the broadest “over the top” moments with great aplomb and sing the pants off of the lush vocal harmonies. These four actors, alone, are the reason to see this show.
BROADWAY WORLD – David Green
DESERT LOCAL NEWS
As the radio announcer used to say at the beginning of every 1940’s Lone Ranger broadcast “…we now return to those thrilling days of yesteryear” – but not out west. Instead Coyote StageWorks, of Palm Springs is taking everyone to a small island in the Pacific where three “4F” USO stagehands prepare for the arrival of the Andrews sisters, who are scheduled to perform their USO show for the troops that night.
In “The Andrews Brothers”, created and written by Roger Bean, it seems the famous Andrews Sisters are a no-show for the troops tonight. Patty Andrews has come down with the chicken pox and everyone is temporarily quarantined even the backup singers. Peggy Jones (a vivacious, beautiful, Bets Malone), a professional entertainer and pin-up girl who was scheduled to open the show, now prepares to rehearse with the three stagehands: Larry Raben as stuttering Patrick; Michael Paternostro as eyeglasses-challenged Lawrence; and Jamie Torcellini as older brother Max.
What’s a girl to do? Why convince the three brothers that they can go on for the Andrews sisters instead – with her of course! Its a big stage and the GI’s are seated a long way from the “girls” … humm …It just might work with no one the wiser… yeah sure, and that’s when all the fun begins.
“The Andrews Brothers” runs at the Annenberg Theatre, in Palm Springs, through February 16, 2014. For tickets call the box office at760-325-4490.
Jack Lyons – Desert Local News
THE DESERT SUN
The Andrew Brothers’ bring back the 1940s at the Annenberg Theater
The Coyote Stageworks production of “The Andrews Brothers: A Madcap Musical Salute to the Swinging ’40s” is a tale of two tales.
The first act is the story of three stagehands named Andrews who long for a shot at entertaining the troops during World War II with pinup star Peggy Jones and the Andrews Sisters. The exposition reveals that the brothers were classified 4F, but they still want to do their part for the war effort. So they rehearse with Peggy as her backup singers until the Andrews Sisters arrive.
The second act is their show. The Andrews Sisters’ flight is canceled, so the Andrews brothers don female army attire and do the Andrews Sisters’ act – high harmonies, dance moves and all.
Bruce Fessier – The Desert Sun