REVIEW: ‘Seven brothers’ steal show

By Jaime Hillegonds

Watch out. This heartwarming musical comedy might give you the desire to talk with a country drawl and maybe even do a few stomps and twirls as you leave the theatre, singin’ tunes that will likely stick in your head for weeks.

Jaime Hillegonds

Jaime Hillegonds

This musical, set in 1850s Oregon, is a heartwarming comedy about a new bride whipping her husband’s six unruly younger brothers into shape and influencing them to find wives. The brothers are definitely influenced, but they recklessly and hilariously go about finding partners.

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” is fun, heartening and silly, making it a must-see for all ages. There is never a dull moment on stage thanks to the 31-member cast, the twirling skirts and the large sets.

While the entire cast did impressive work, the six unruly brothers most definitely stole the show.  Each one had a unique personality that made their characters come alive. “Sobbin’ Women” and “We Gotta Make It Through the Winter” are two of the most entertaining numbers to watch because the men’s voices and dancing fill the theatre in a clumsy, endearing way.

Adam Pontipee, the oldest of the seven brothers, was played by Josh Cookingham. Cookingham could have been mistaken for a real Oregon pioneer – he was that convincing. His country drawl was right on – noticeable but not overdone. His singing was strong and his acting, like usual, made his stubborn character believable.

One of the best parts of the show comes in “Social Dance.” The number involves most of the cast, so there is a lot going on. It is clear that the cast spent a lot of time on the choreography for this number. Dance-offs appear numerous times, along with coupled-off dancing. The brides stood out as graceful, talented dancers, and their swinging skirts made the dancing look that much better.

While the musical aspect is good overall, a few of the words in the big group numbers get lost, “Gallant and Correct” especially. The brides and brothers, though, when they sing together, create harmonies that show a lot of skill.

Just like everything else in the show, the sets were immense and done well. The intensity of the sets actually causes problems with transitions between scenes because of their size and intricateness. The longer transitions, however, are not a big deal because the show is so entertaining.

The acting, the singing and the dancing all come together to create an atmosphere of the giddiness that comes with falling in love. I give this show four stars because of its sincerity, warmth and comedy. Everyone should go see it.

Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21-23 with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 23.

4/5 stars

Jaime Hillegonds is a junior English writing major. This review reflects the view of the writer only. 

(Photo provided)

(Photo provided)


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