Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 11:53

Gotta dance

Written by Bob Wilcox
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

  • Director: Mark Schneider
  • Dates: August 1 - 7, 2011

I'm a little puzzled by the continuing popularity of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at The Muny. It's one of the shows that pops up regularly. But it's hardly in the Rodgers and Hammerstein tradition of a memorable score and a story that involves you in sympathetic characters.

The book by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay adapts the movie that adapted a short story set in the Oregon mountains in the 1850s. The courtship between mountain man Adam and town woman Millie wraps up in the blink of an eye, and the focus shifts to Adam's six brothers, their longing to get married, and the six town women they kidnap, leading to various complications and their resolution.

That's too many people for us to get close to any one of them in the two hours' traffic of our stage (and this is the rare Muny show that, for the second week in a row, clocks in almost at the two hour mark). Nor do either the book or the production's light touch encourage us to take any of this very seriously, not even the cracks that develop in Millie and Adam's hasty marriage.

I find a couple of the songs, "Bless Your Beautiful Hide" and "Goin' Courtin,'" tend to stay with me after the final curtain, and I've always enjoyed "Lonesome Polecat" as an amusing mock lament in the vein of the Gershwins' "I'm Bidin' My Time." But the score, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Gene de Paul and added songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, serves the production well without serving up a string of hits.

What Seven Brides for Seven Brothers does have, and the reason, I suspect, that Muny audiences like it, is dancing, lots of spectacular, athletic dancing – dancing that finds room to spread out on that huge Muny stage. Pepper Clyde choreographed the current production, adding welcome fresh touches to references to Michael Kidd's movie dances, a little Agnes de Mille influence, and exuberant Irish step dancing to celebrate the wedding of the brothers and their brides. The young dancers in the company easily meet the challenges.

Mark Schneider directed the story clearly and cleanly. James Clow, always welcome, is back again as Adam. And Jenny Powers, who can fill the Muny with her voice and stage presence, gives Millie the dominant personality she needs to survive the troubles she marries into.

Steven Gilliam's scenic design opens the stage for the big dance numbers in order to mix the usual painted flats with welcome vistas of the trees and bushes that rim that stage. Jason Krueger's sound design balances the cast's voices with the orchestra under musical director Michael Horsley. F. Mitchell Dana, as usual, designed the lighting, and Kansas City Costume, as usual, the costumes.

You may not be deeply moved by The Muny's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, but you can get a thrill and a lift from the dancing.

Additional Info

  • Director: Mark Schneider
  • Dates: August 1 - 7, 2011

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Karate Bikini - A Simpler Sugar

Wed November 26
Karate Bikini is an eight piece ensemble who's members hail from St. Louis and the metro area. They are a large band with a large sound. Their latest album A Simpler Sugar is full of upbeat pop songs,…

KDHX Recommends

January
Saturday
17

Recording Clinic with Patrick Crecelius

KDHX is proud to host a DIY mixing workshop for musicians at The Stage at KDHX. The clinic will be taught by Patrick Crecelius of Cedar Box Studio. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his credits include such local artists as Ryan...


January
Sunday
18

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes The Boogers

The Boogers are the brainchild of Dr. Paul Crowe. Fatherhood, a PhD in Developmental Psychology, and 20 years of sloggin' it in wretched clubs as a punk rocker - even opening for Dee Dee Ramone and Marky Ramone - formed Paul's...


February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

2 users and 10416 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook