After a very hot sweaty New York City day, I found refuge with my friend Kelley Karel, at the Premiere of "VolleyGirls"directed by Neil Patrick Stewart, (NO not the one from the Smurfs). If someone told I was going to see a musical about volley ball, I would probably have watched something on Netflix instead. But what a wrong thing it would have been.
While entering the theater, in a first come first served seating, I found a spot on the side and realized that the venue had no bad seats. Anywhere you sit in the theater, you'll get a great view of the stage.
The stage, without a curtain, was set with what looked like sport risers, a couple lockers and a referee stand. Ten of the eleven members of the cast, were on the stage, while the audience entered the theater, and they played around with each other.
After a couple numbers to introduce the characters, I was already humming some of the numbers while they were singing. Very catchy tunes, performed by an excellent cast. The six main volley girls, are six unique characters and actresses. Their difference make them so lovable, that you can't wait to hear their individual story. As usual, I won't get into details, will try to remain as positive as possible.
This is a show, I could see opening on Broadway in a few months, just enough time to revisit some songs, and perhaps use some of the male characters a little more. I would have loved to see the Latina Marisol (Gerianne Pérez) interact with the Russian referee (Charles Karel) in a song about what it is like to be different. Or perhaps, tiny Stretch (Dana Steingold) give some advice to the Flo Hartline (Jennifer C. Johnson), as I believe these unlikely to be couples, could blossom on the stage and bring the production to another level.
Kim Brindell (Susan Blackwell), was good most of the time and if she had faced the audience a little more, I could have seen her other then profile. Her voice is deep and warm when she acts and talks to the girls, but her singing left me wanting more, especially when Jennifer C.Johnson delivers a stellar performance from beginning to end.
I know, it was opening night, the show is new, I'm sure there's a lot of changes that could be made, but in the end, this is a show, I recommend, and I would love to see again.
Watch out Broadway for the VolleyGirls, they gonna play it Jabali.
Go see it.