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‘Beehive’ brings a dizzying decade to Marriott Theatre

Five Stars

With all the great music venues in Chicago who would have predicted that one of the best pop concerts this summer would be at Marriott Theatre in suburban Lincolnshire.

Happening under the guise of one feminine hair style fad, “Beehive: The 60’s musical,” celebrates the multi-culture and frequent social changes of a tumultuous decade.

And it does so with terrific vocalizations and instrumentals.

The show stars six exceptional singers: Emma Grace Bailey (Marriott Theatre: The Music Man; Metropolis PAC: A Christmas Carol); Grace Bobber (Marriott Theatre: The Sound of Music, Paramount Theatre: Into the Woods); Lucy Godinez (Marriott Theatre: Big Fish, American Repertory Theatre: Real Women Have Curves); Miciah Lathan (Marriott Theatre debut; Black Ensemble Theatre: The Other Cinderella; Leah Morrow (Marriott Theatre: Madagascar; TV: Somebody Somewhere, neXt); and Aisha Sougou (Marriott Theatre: Beautiful, University of North Carolina School of the Arts: Crow’s Nest).

Understudies are Bridget Adams-King, Clare Kennedy, Tiyanna Gentry, and Savannah Sinclair.

The band is onstage led by keyboardist Celia Villacres. Musicians include Karli Bunn, Stephanie Chow, Kellin Hanas, Camila Mennitte, and Lauren Pierce.

Created by Larry Gallagher, “Beehive” is basically a covers musical that includes such songs as “Walking in the Rain” (Mann/Spector/Weil) and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Goffin/King) and “performances” of such stars as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Janis Joplin.

“The 1960’s was a decade known as one of, if not THE decade, that experienced the biggest shifts in music, fashion, culture and social evolution and revolution.” said director/choreographer Deidre Goodwin. “Beehive” is a love letter to the music of the 1960’s. It became a generation’s soundtrack for first loves, heartbreak, social awareness and growing up,” added Goodwin.  

A packed house, Wednesday, appreciated the messages and music.

If not for the announced need to keep aisles clear for performer costume changes, the opening day crowd Wednesday, would have been dancing, shouting, clapping, and singing along those pathways instead of just shouting, applauding and rising from their seats.

Unlike “1776” which comes mid-August and “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” for December, Marriott Theatre has deviated from its usual fine but tried-and- survived musical show schedule to bring us this over-the-top pop concert.

Thank you, Marriott Theatre.