Mom Theatre Blogger: This One’s For the Girls: Show Review
by Robin Gorman Newman
Lighthearted entertainment, but with an empowering message, this Valentine to women through the past 100 + years, will have you dancing in your seat or cheering….or both.
The 90 minute jukebox musical features such tunes as “I Want to See You Be Brave,” “I am Woman,” “Over There,” “I Wanna Be Loved By You,” and “You Don’t Own Me”….some better known than others, but many strongly resonating with the enthusiastic, largely female audience in attendance.
Under the direction of Tamara Kangas Erickson, the show stars Traci Bair (CIRQUE DREAMS, PANDORA’S BOX), Aneesa Folds (RAGTIME, SISTAS), Jana Robbins (Broadway’s GYPSY, THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE, CRIMES OF THE HEART), and Haley Swindal (Broadway’s JEKYLL & HYDE, THE SECRET GARDEN at Lincoln Center), with music direction by Zachary Ryan.
The talented and versatile cast of four play a multitude of roles and keep things moving. The evening I saw the show, there was a technical song glitch, but the gals proved theatrical troopers.
Robbins, with a notable vibrato, plays Janet, the show’s narrator who is an academic relating stories reflecting women’s history and all they have lived through….from famous figures to others. Ranging from war time experiences to dating to the role of housewife and mother, the show’s tone is ever-shifting, and ultimately, the feminist takeaway strongly emerges.
Haley Swindal is a particular standout, delivering an appealing comedic turn as Betty Boop, one of the many roles she portrays.
Playwright Dorothy Marcic, who is an author and professor, also created the musical SISTAS, the longest-running African American musical in New York history, now in its seventh year. Her first musical RESPECT (the genesis for THIS ONE’S FOR THE GIRLS) played in over 70 U.S. cities.
Scenic & lighting design for the show is by Josh Iacovelli, with costumes by Cynthia Nordstrom. While the set was minimalist, the show effectively uses a stream of projections as a backdrop, featuring recognizable men and women whose impact has been felt over the years.
There is no denying that women have persevered and will continue to do so, no matter the circumstances, and this feel good show is particularly timely and relatable given the climate of today’s society. It makes for a fun, uplifting girls night out.
THIS ONE’S FOR THE GIRLS plays Fridays at 8 pm and Saturdays at 2 pm at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 West 46 Street (just west of Eighth Ave.) Visit www.FortheGirlstheMusical.com.