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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Review: ‘Beach Blanket Be-Bop’ hangs loose with audience members

    Stuck in Tucson this summer when you would rather hit the beach? If so, the cast members of The Gaslight Music Hall’s “Beach Blanket Be-Bop” will transform your desert days into a rad, beach-filled experience.

    This fun and lively comedy revue takes place at The Gaslight Theatre’s new venue, The Gaslight Music Hall, every Thursday night through August 25.

    Popular songs featured in the show included “Surf City”, “Surfin USA”,”Wipe Out”, “Help Me Rhonda” and many other beach classics. The Gaslight performers delivered hilarious jokes between musical numbers and audience members got the chance to participate in games hosted by the cast of the show.

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    The Gaslight’s interactive style of theater made “Beach Blanket Be-Bop” a fun and engaging experience.

    The show opened with the song “Surfin Safari” sang by Rhonda, played by Brittany Mazur, Bonnie, portrayed by Samantha Cormier, Glen, brought to life by Brian Paradis and Mickey played by Jeremy Vega. Filled with dancing and the fantastic vocals from the cast, the opening act foreshadowed the high-energy and entertaining show that followed.

    The Big Kahuna, performed by Jesus Limón, hosted the show and frequently joined the cast in singing and performing songs. The band called the Wave Riders that consisted of five musicians accompanied the cast on stage to play the show’s music.

    Cast members shot out jokes — usually beach-related — to the audience between songs, along with the music. The Big Kahuna had some of the most memorable lines of the night — “What do you call a surfer that just broke up with his girlfriend? Homeless.”

    “Beach Blanket Be-Bop” offered a unique show format. Different from the scripted plays that The Gaslight Theatre puts on, this combination of comedy and great live music was a refreshing summer treat and left the audience engaged and entertained the entire time.

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    The talented cast of “Beach Blanket Be-Bop” hosted activities that encouraged audience participation throughout the show. Three members from the audience, selected by the cast, took part in a hula-hoop contest. A little girl named Julia won the contest and took home some prizes — a flower lei and a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

    The show’s next activity brought children in the audience up on stage to participate in a limbo contest. The cast members kept it uncompetitive though — all children walked off the stage as winners and each child received a plastic lei.

    After a night full of endless laughing and interactive participation, many audience members seemed delighted that they could refuel their bodies with food served at the music hall.

    Filled with circular round tables that all face the stage, The Gaslight Music Hall possessed an ambiance of a restaurant coupled with a concert venue.

    Pizza and booze were the menu items of choice for most of the audience. Armed with its newly obtained liquor license, the music hall fittingly served the bahama mama as their drink of the night. Each table had a basket of popcorn set on top of the tables upon guest arrival as well, making the show a true dine-in experience.

    Food, liquor and interactive activities made this show a night to remember. The cast kept the audience laughing and performed each song with gorgeous precision and enthusiasm.

    Filled with plenty of quality live entertainment and summer feels, “Beach Blanket Be-Bop” is well worth the trip up to Oro Valley. Tickets cost just $16.95 for students.

    Follow Victoria Hudson on Twitter.

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