By Gail Hayes
Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Crossroads Repertory Theatre at Indiana State University continues its summer season with “Suds: The Rocking 60’s Musical Soap Opera.” Performances are this Friday through Sunday, with additional performances July 17, 21 and 26. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. except for the Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.
“Suds” tells the story of heartbroken Cindy (Carolyn Conover), a Laundromat worker whose pen-pal boyfriend breaks up with her on her birthday. Two guardian angels named Marge (Cathy Sponsler) and Dee Dee (Caitlin Boho) are sent to help her in her quest for “Mr. Right.” Graham Emmons plays a number of different characters, from a woman bringing in her laundry, to a “Johnny Angel” type person to a nerdy kid with bad manners.
The story is moved along almost entirely with the memorable Motown and pop music from the 1960s. “This show is a great vehicle for really good music,” said director Sharon Ammen. “It’s almost like a revue, except there is a plot to it.”
The musical was created and arranged by a group from San Diego consisting of Melinda Glib, Steve Gunderson and Bryan Scott. Musical direction is by Mark Carlisle, with choreography by Teresa McCullough and Ammen.
“While the music in the show ranges from 1955 to 1968, it’s a feeling of about 1963,” Ammen said. “It’s a feel-good show that can really bring people closer together, forgetting all that polarizes us today.”
While all ages will enjoy the music, baby boomers especially can reminisce about what they were doing when songs like “Please Mr. Postman,” “The Locomotion,” “Respect” and “Chapel of Love” were popular. The musical features these and many other toe-tapping numbers, including a medley of some of the best-loved Burt Bacharach and Hal David songs.
“Suds” is part of a musical genre known as “jukebox musicals,” in which the music has been previously released and carries a common theme. It might be music of one group, like “Mamma Mia!” featuring the music of ABBA, or it could be music from a period, such as the 1980s glam rock in “Rock of Ages.” The songs in a jukebox musical are tied together with a storyline.
After the July 21 matinee, audiences are invited to stay for a free Sunday Talk, led by local personality Ronn Mott. He will talk about the music scene of the 1960s.
Season tickets for all four shows of the “Three Laughs and a Scream” summer season are available for $52. A ticket to “Suds” costs $20. Indiana State University students get one free ticket per show with student ID, while ISU faculty and staff can get theirs at a reduced price. Tickets can be purchased online at www.crossroadsrep.com or at the box office located inside the New Theater, 540 N. Seventh St. For more info, call 812-237-3333.