Friday, August 11, 2017

Night at the Theater: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Donna and I recently enjoyed a night at our local community theater, Angelo Civic Theater, watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Some of you old timers probably watched the original 1954 film starring Howard Keel and Jane Powell in the lead roles of Adam and Millie. The movie won the Academy award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture and was nominated for four other awards, including Best Picture (which was won by On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando).

This particular work is unusual in that it was a movie before appearing as a play on Broadway. Normally, works begin as plays, then become movies if they are popular enough.

The play is set in Oregon in the 1850s. Adam Pontipee ventures into the local town in search of a wife. By the end of the day, he has convinced Millie to marry him, and he takes her home to his farm/ranch in the mountains, where his 6 brothers await, unbeknownst to the new bride. She then sets about teaching the brothers manners and how to court the fairer sex in hopes that they will each get their own wife so that she will not have to care for 6 bachelors as well as her own husband.

The play is a musical, and is famous for its rousing dance numbers set to such natural events as a barn raising. It also has more parts than most plays, using a cast of over 30 actors. For these reasons, it is a challenge for a small theater to put on.

It was an enjoyable evening at the theater.

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