News > Review: “Groovy Kinda Love” at 34 West

34 West Theater 2 copy 2

image courtesy 34 West Theater Co.

By: Matt Dobie

It is worth marveling at 34 West Theater Company and their ability to consistently bring uproarious, feel-good, musical comedies to the Lowcountry. They have succeeded once again in the encore presentation of last summer’s sell-out hit, Groovy Kinda Love.

The story takes place (though it is never expressly mentioned) around 1970, and it comes with the requisite signs of the time—a health conscious hippie, a misogynistic gym teacher, flower power. Intertwined throughout the witty banter and demanding slapstick are classic ‘60s tunes, masterfully belted out by the cast. These musical numbers are not breaks in the action, part of the beauty of the script is how these sing-along classics are utilized to develop the characters and propel the story forward (not to mention, keep the laughs coming). Goofy choreography, innovative prop use, and strong harmonies abound.

The cast never misses a beat, never flubs a line, and they are a blast to watch. 34 West co-founders Jeff Querin and Stephen Wayne are joined by Maddie Casto and Becca Anderson, all bringing lovable characters to life and doing so with charm and contagious energy. They are not afraid to interact with the audience; in fact that adds to the fun. Inserting quick adlibs, allowing Ping-Pong balls to scatter off stage, even dancing throughout the crowd, encouraging the whole lot of us to clap and sing along to “Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog.” It is this carefree attitude and the intimate setting of the venue that makes a 34 West show unlike any other in town.

If you’re looking for a play with heavy themes and stark realism, this isn’t the stop for you. It won’t reveal deep-seated truths about the human psyche or evoke a complex range of emotions. But it is fun. It will induce laughter (and lots of it), instill joy, and definitely entertain to the fullest. Shows run through February 27th.


 

image courtesy 34 West Theater Co.

image courtesy 34 West Theater Co.

34 West Theater Company
200 Meeting Street, Charleston
843.901.9343
34west.org

Posted on January 31, 2016 by Stacy.

Categories: Performing Arts, Review

Comments (1)

  1. Pingback by Review: Groovy Kinda Love – matt dobie on March 7, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    […] It is worth marveling at 34 West Theater Company and their ability to consistently bring uproarious, feel-good, musical comedies to the Lowcountry. They have succeeded once again in the encore presentation of last summer’s sell-out hit, Groovy Kinda Love. Read full review at The Art Mag. […]

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