“The Marvelous Wonderettes" at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre -- July 25 through August 4.

Thursday, July 25, through Sunday, August 4

Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, 311 Riverview Drive, Clinton IA

Praised by Broadway World as "a nostalgic and enormously entertaining musical revue," the peppy and winning stage treat The Marvelous Wonderettes closes the 2024 summer season at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, the show's July 25 through August 4 run treating audiences to delightful renditions of 1950s and '60s pop classics including "Lollipop," "Dream Lover," "It's My Party," and "It's In His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)."

A charming off-Broadway smash, The Marvelous Wonderettes whisks audiences to the 1958 Springfield High School prom, where we meet Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy: four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. As we learn about their lives and loves in the musical's first act, the girls serenade us with classic ‘50s hits including “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Lipstick on Your Collar," and "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me." Then, in Act II, the Wonderettes reunite to take the stage and sing for their 10-year reunion, performing such unforgettable tunes as "Heatwave," "Son of a Preacher Man," "Leader of the Pack," and Aretha Franklin's "RESPECT." Through their songs and sharing, The Marvelous Wondettes patrons learn about the highs and lows the girls have experienced in the past decade, and come to find that no matter what life throws their way, these young women will conquer it together.

With this endearing and wildly hummable musical boasting a book by Roger Bean, The Marvelous Wonderettes found its stage beginnings in 1998 when, fresh off a run of Bean's first musical Don't Touch That Dial! at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the author was asked to write a new musical for the venue's intimate black-box space, the Stackner Cabaret. Bean suggested a musical about high-school song leaders from the '50s and '60s, best friends, singing at prom for their best friends and boyfriends. He would use pop songs from the period to tell the characters' story, but Bean also needed to write a script in which the actors could remain onstage through most, if not all, of the show. Thus, the original, one-act version of The Marvelous Wonderettes came to be, and through the years, it has grown from its much simpler one-act format to its current, fully realized two-act version.

The Marvelous Wonderettes will be performed in Clinton from July 25 through August 4, with performances Fridays, Saturdays, and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Admission is $21-28, and more information is available by calling (563)242-6760 and visiting ClintonShowboat.org.

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