Shawn Stalter, Contributing Critic - Dallas/Ft. Worth
Firehouse Theatre’s production of “The Boy Friend” ignites the stage with a vibrant, high-tempo, well-rounded performance. Backed by exceptional vocal talent and dynamic choreography, this cast crafts a superb, must-see show for theatre enthusiasts across the DFW area.
“The Boy Friend,” written by Sandy Wilson, is a lively romp through the roaring ‘20s set to the picturesque backdrop of the French Riviera. Originally produced in 1954, it tells a story of a young English heiress, Polly, beautifully performed by Morgan Maxy, and her search for a suitable gentleman to accompany her to an upcoming carnival ball. While attempting to hide her wealthy background, and attract a suitor who will love her for who her true self, Polly inadvertently gets tangled up in a hilarious case of mistaken identities with a mysterious young man, Tony, played by Gabriel Ethridge.
Firehouse Theatre’s superb production came out swinging with the multi-talented musical director, Bethany Lorentzen, opening the show, and engaging the audience, with a jovial, stage-setting intro. During the subsequent three acts, the cast brought a fiery passion and deep bench of raw talent to the stage which skillfully weaved a tale through a non-stop parade of powerful song and dance numbers. Costuming, crafted by Victor Newman Brockwell, offered a glitzy, modern take on the flapper fashions of the roaring ‘20s and helped transport the audience to an exotic seaside locale nearly a century ago.
From the opening scenes where the saucy French maid, Hortense, played by the lovely Hilary Evitt Allen, sings of “Perfect Young Ladies,” to the powerhouse conclusion of the third Act finale, there wasn’t a weak spot in this firecracker production. A true highlight of occurs when Maisey, played by the dynamic Bailey Poe, dances with her love interest, Bobby Van Husen, performed by Ryan Nuss, in the swooning, dynamic dance number, “Won’t You Charleston With Me?” All told, this production is chock full of blistering choreography, comedic relief, exceptional stage design, costuming, live music and so much more.
Overall, Firehouse Theatre’s “The Boy Friend” is a scorching-hot, upbeat and fun-filling DFW-area production which you cannot afford to miss.
Firehouse Theatre’s production of Sandy Wilson’s “The Boyfriend” is directed by Derek Whitener and runs through March 3rd, 2019. This all-audiences show stars Hilary Evitt Allen as Hortense, Katelyn Anderson as Dulcie, Carissa Aguila as Fay, Bailey Poe as Maise, Elissa Roberts as Nancy, Adelaide Willert as Omnes, Theresa Dvorocsik as Adele, Morgan Maxey as Polly Browne, Andi Allen as Madame Dubonnet, Ryan Nuss as Bobby Van Heusen, Dan Servetnick as Percival Browne, Gabriel Ethridge as TOny, Francis Henry as Lord Brockhurst, Alison Reider as Lady Brockhurst, Samuel Ea as Marcel, Ciaran Barlow as Alphonse, Austin Bender as Pierre and Blake Seabourn as Gaspard.
Learn more about the Firehouse Theatre located at 2535 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, TX 75234, and secure your spot for an upcoming performance by visiting them at thefirehousetheatre.com or calling the box office at 972-620-3747.
Photo credit: Jason Anderson, Pendleton Photography