The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jun 21, 2013

Actors’ Summit presents “The Bikinis” for some summer fun

Posted by rdurbin

Actors’ Summit, a Knight Arts grantee, is bringing yet another area premiere to its venue at Graystone Hall – the zany and fun musical “The Bikinis.”

“The Bikinis” hasn’t got a lot going for it plot-wise. A four-member girl group gets back together for the improbable purpose of trying to raise money to save a mobile home resort – the Sand Shore Mobile Home Resort to be exact. Seems the current residents may get bought out and made to move. And they don’t want to.

Enter the ladies.

As part of their effort, they spend a bunch of time rehashing the past and seeing if they are, in fact, as good as they used to be. Now there’s a challenge for you.

As co-artistic director Neil Thackaberry puts it, there is just “enough plot to get to the next great song,” which is pretty much the point. Reminiscing from 1964 forward musically, the quartet will fill the stage with musical popular hits that they had done on the Jersey Shore (whence the likeable title for them as the “Jersey Girls”) like “It’s in His Kiss,” “Heat Wave,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “These Boots are Made for Walking,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “When Will I Be Loved,” the anthem “I Will Survive,” and a hallelujah chorus of “It’s Raining Men.”

Now that sounds like it will be a good time.

Co-artistic director Mary Jo Alexander will be directing the play. She has some strong musical talent to work with – Paula Kline-Messner, Mary Anne Prevost,.June Lang and Chanda Porter.

Mary Jo Alexander, co-artistic director, Actors' Summit.

As Thackaberry put it recently, “Fortunately, the group we have is remarkable. Two of them have toured nationally in Menopause and one has performed in professional settings on both coasts.  Individually, they are amazing. When they start harmonizing I get chills (and I'm a pretty jaded old guy.)”

"The  Bikinis" cast, Actors&squot; Summit. "The Bikinis" cast, Actors' Summit.

Still, though, there is work to be done. As he said, “One of the big challenges of the show is to get four women who have never worked together as a team to create a sense of friendship that has been built over 30 years.” The show depends on the credibility of them being former group members who have shared a bunch over the years. It has to be believable.

Actors’ Summit will present “The Bikinis at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sundays through July 21 at its location in Graystone Hall, 103 S. High St., Akron; 330-374-7568; Tickets are $28 on Thursday, Friday and Sunday; $30 on Saturday.

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