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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage Review

A prom full of pop in ‘Marvelous Wonderettes’

STONEHAM — When the Crooning Crabcakes have to cancel their performance at the 1958 Springfield High School prom, their last-minute replacement is The Marvelous Wonderettes, a quartet of classmates who perform despite some internal squabbling and personal preoccupations. In the Stoneham Theatre’s pleasant but uninspired summer offering, “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” the prom performance provides an opportunity to showcase pop hits from the 1950s in Act 1. In Act 2, the girls are reunited 10 years later, when they update us on their personal progress through selected pop hits from the 1960s.

Writer Roger Bean hews closely to stereotypes as we get to know the Wonderettes, which includes the ditsy Suzy Simpson (Laura Graczyk), vain Cindy Lou Huffington (Lee Harrington), nerdy Missy Miller (Tess Primack), and tomboy Betty Jean Reynolds (Brittany Rolfs). As the girls work through their numbers, including “Lollipop,” “Allegheny Moon,” and “Dream Lover,” we get a bit of back story: Cindy Lou has stolen Betty Jean’s boyfriend (“Lipstick on Your Collar”), Suzy’s in love with the prom’s lighting guy (“Stupid Cupid”), and Missy has a “Dream Lover,” who happens to be their teacher (“Mr. Lee”). Transitions occur when the girls use a “dream catcher” (a.k.a. “cootie catcher”) to decide who will sing the next song.

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