TR Robertson –Vista Broadway Theater owners Randall Hickman and Douglas Davis picked a fun musical, Malt Shop Memories – The Musical, with memorable songs to begin their 19th season of bringing entertaining, enjoyable plays, and musicals to theater goers. Coincidently, Randall happened to write, choreograph, costume, light design and direct this musical, weaving this feel-good story around some classic rock and roll songs from the 50’s and 60’s. Douglas built the malt shop set, worked the spotlight, and oversaw the classic Opportunity Raffle prior to the start of this one hour and fifteen-minute musical. The raffle is a hit with theater attendees as you never know what wonderful piece of “crap” you may walk out the door with. This time your reviewer won a small plastic hummingbird feeder.
Malt Shop Memories – The Musical is a feel good, girl meets boy, boy meets girl, girl loses boy and girl gets another boy teen saga. The talented cast of 7 actors brought great stage presence, solid funny attitudes, and wonderful voices to the stage for this musical comedy. The set-up for each situation in the musical featured a classic and appropriate rock and roll song from the 50’s and 60’s. The story line for the musical involves a young lady, Barbara, who works for her mother, Marge, in a family-owned Malt Shop. Also working in the Malt Shop is Barbara’s best friends, Stacy and Booger. Barbara and Stacy fall head over heels for two young boys, Lee, and Gary, when the boys arrive in the Malt Shop. Initially, the boy’s job is to make the Malt Shop look bad as Lee’s father recently opened a similar place across the street. As fate would have it the boys fall for the girls as well. Throw in Barbara’s mother, Marge, falling for Lee’s dad, Booger falling for Barbara, Marge finding out Lee was manipulating her, and you have a plot that thickens, notice the malt shop image.
All the central actors have a chance to sing both solo numbers and with other cast members. These are fun “oldies but goodies” and looking around you could see members of the audience singing along. The musical begins with a Supremes medley, followed by songs like “Only You,” “Fever,” “Heat Wave,” “Puppy Love,” “It’s My Party.” “Going to the Chapel,” “These Boots are Made for Walking,” Rock Around the Clock,” Jailhouse Rock” and many, many more. Clever use of a back serving window for back-up singers and an occasional puppet adds to the fun aspect of this musical along with a poor cat, Sprinkles, that is continually stepped on off stage. The cast of Marisa Taylor Scott as Barbara Hurley, Amanda Everett as Marge Hurley, Katilyn Summers as Stacy, Alan Ramos as Booger, Barret Avilez as Lee, and Tim Baran as Gary do not miss a beat on stage and handle the quick paced songs with ease. Douglas Davis makes a final scene appearance as the Policeman.
You can always count on Vista’s Broadway Theater presenting talented local performers, many veterans of many theater performances and many just beginning their theatrical road trip. Malt Shop Memories – The Musical will play at the theater until May 1st. For tickets go to www.broadwayvista.biz or call 760-806-7905. The theater is located at 340 East Broadway, next to Belching Beaver Restaurant. Next up for the theater, beginning on May 11th, is Daniel Newheiser presenting “I’m Old Fashioned”.