TR Robertson –New Village Arts Theatre has opened live in-person performances with Larry Gallagher’s successful Off-Broadway musical “Beehive”, directed by NVA Founder and Director Kristianne Kurner. The 60’s musical tribute to the ladies of rock n’ roll will run until July 25th at the Carlsbad Flower Fields, in a covered out-door stage area. What those in attendance are treated to is a cast of 7 talented females with amazing voices who will take you back in time to the decade of the 60’s with 33 songs you will recognize and along the way you will hear a little history of the time-period that will be a reminder of significant events from the past.
The stage setting is a colorful, multi-layered setting featuring pictures of female singers prominent in the 60’s. The audience sits in outdoor chairs donated by Home Depot, a Season Sponsor, all socially distanced in pairs. One reminder is to bring a seat cushion and a jacket. Prior to the start of the musical, those attending can wander through the large displays of plants, flowers and structures maintained by the San Diego Garden Masters. The musical begins with a presentation, by the performers, of significant women from the 60’s that played a major part in various activities involving the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War issues, Gender Identification, Desegregation Issues and more. Pictures of these women are added to the wall of women in the music world of the 60’s. The Musical then begins with the 7 performers introducing themselves with “The Name Game” song. Each of the 7 females has an opportunity to perform several of the 33 songs as the lead singers and as part of the back-up singers for the numbers.
From the 7 performers, 3 have been in former NVA productions and the other 4 are new to NVA. Returning to the NVA are Natasha Baenisch as Alison, Rae Henderson as Laura, and Craig Noel Award winner Eboni Muse as Gina. Making their debut with NVA is Bibi Mama as Jasmine, Megan Carmitchel as Pattie, Brittany Carrillo as Adrie and Erin Vanderhyde as Wanda. Each has a number of stand-out performances. They all have strong and powerful voices, especially Edoni Muse with her Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin numbers, Rae Henderson with her Gracie Slick “Somebody to Love” performance and Megan Carmitchel’s “You Don’t Own Me” and “Son of a Preacher Man” numbers. Act One has 18 songs and mostly has numbers dealing with love, boyfriend issues and the rise of the empowered woman. The beginning of Act Two begins with the Flower Child/Hippie Movement and the moving song “Abraham, Martin and John” and takes us through Woodstock to the end of the decade. Most of the numbers are also performed with clever choreographed routines.
Kurner’s Creative Ensemble includes Music Direction by Kyrsten Hafso-Koppman, Choreography by Alyssa Junious, Lighting Designer Ashely Bietz, Wig Designer Missy Bradstreet, Sound Designer Evan Eason, Stage Manager Alexis Ellis-Alvarez, Set Designer Kristen E. Flores, and Costume Designer Faith A. James. The wigs and costumes were very decade appropriate and extremely colorful.
New Village Arts plans on producing other productions at the Carlsbad Flower Field Stage as their Carlsbad town facility is going through major renovation involving increasing the lobby and bar size, moving the entrance to the facility and lobby entrance to the corner of State and Christiansen Way, renovating the restrooms and much more. These improvements will not be completed until the Fall. NVA is currently seeking sponsors for the renovation. If interested in helping, email Kristianne Kurner at firstname.lastname@example.org. For tickets to the “Beehive” performance go to www.newvillagearts.org or call 760-433-3245. Live theatre is returning to San Diego County. Support NVA and make a day or evening of it and have lunch or dinner at one of the nearby eating establishments close to the Flower Fields, then take in the upbeat, superbly performed music from the 60’s, “Beehive”.