A friend and I came here to see "8 Track: Sounds of the 70's" recently. It is a musical review of popular music from the 1970's, complete with platform shoes, bell-bottom pants and flower power. The theater itself is intimate and is built on multi-levels, giving every patron an unobstructed view... though it can be tricky to navigate the steep stairs. Since I've been here last, the theater lobby has been renovated and expanded, including an outdoor seating area. Bathrooms were not the cleanest, but were acceptable. There's a small box office and a bar where you can order drinks.... and a water bubbler. Every staff person or volunteer we interacted with was very pleasant... and we had great seats for the show.
The audience was made up mostly of boomers, which one would expect of this particular production. The small theater was about 2/3 full and was air conditioned on this hot summer day. "8 Track" is a romp down memory lane: a potpourri of many of the tunes made famous from the 1970's, including several disco tracks. The four actors/singers: Craig Faulkner (also the Director), Christine Dulong, John James Pirroni, and Lauren Monteleone were excellent. Each possessed a superb singing voice.... though I was less impressed with the womens' duets than with other combinations. Their voices... while very good... just didn't seem to always come together as well. However, overall we were impressed: not only with the memorization of music and lyrics, but also with the dance/movement/acting thrown-in; the lighting, soundtracks, scene editing, chemistry between the actors, as well as the costumes. We also noted how poised the actors seemed considering the substantial amount of energy it must have taken to sing and perform amidst costume changes and constant movement on and off stage. Also, none of them were alive in the 1970's... so we know they had to learn and familiarize themselves with the 50 or so songs they performed- and they got it right.
In the past I've seen other shows at SeaCoast Rep including "A Chorus Line," "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying," and "Rocky Horror Picture Show," among others. This one rated right up there with the best. I will surely return for excellent semi-professional theater here in the heart of Portsmouth.
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