Betty Jean (Ali Watson) and Cindy Lou (Makayla Moore) of the Marvelous Wonderettes maintain their friendship through little spats and thick and thin. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Wonderettes bring the fun while belting out the hits

Four-part harmonies in Chemainus Theatre production sure to be music to your ears

The talent! The energy! The fun!

The Marvelous Wonderettes are indeed marvelous and wonderful, too.

The quartet consisting of Missy (Julia Ullrich), Suzy (Alison MacDonald), Cindy Lou (Makayla Moore) and Betty Jean (Ali Watson) ushered in the start of the 2020 season at the Chemainus Theatre on Valentine’s Day with non-stop pop hits and a throwback to a simpler time from their 1958 high school graduating class and the ensuing 10-year reunion.

The music will be nostalgic for those who were young enough then to live through it and old enough now to remember it. The younger generation just discovering it or having limited knowledge certainly won’t have a difficult time adjusting to seeing and hearing a different side to high school life.

The four Wonderettes all bring their fantastic voices to each of the memorable songs in the production, as soloists or in four-part harmonies. The sound, no matter what the song or tone – higher-pitched or soft – is breathtaking.

The gals do a great job of bringing memories of high school spats and good times to life for all of us. They return slightly more mature – but not much – for the reunion.

They keep pumping out the hits from start to finish, revolving around a storyline that gives us a chance to get to know them all a little bit. Through it all, even though time has lapsed and some of them have gone in different directions, their bond always remains strong.

The second act is quite fun after the girls return with all their stories in words and song of life’s heartaches and broken relationships while patching up others that have endured bumpy times.

The storylines lead right into each song brilliantly – almost in the same manner as Mamma Mia! did with all its Abba hits.

It’s In His Kiss/Wedding Bell Blues, You Don’t Own Me, With This Ring, I Only Want To Be With You, Son Of A Preacher Man all fall into place immediately after we hear about developments that occured in the girls’ lives.

And you just can’t help singing along to the lively renditions of each song or shuffling your feet in your seat.

A little audience interaction goes a long way with the Wonderettes. They make a pass through the crowd to collect ballots for voting on the prom queen and two “teachers” are singled out to complement various scenes.

First-time Chemainus Theatre director Julie Tomaino’s choreography stamp is all over this production, particularly during such numbers as the Leader of the Pack segment in the second act. Tomaino choreographed performances of Footloose and Grease at the theatre and has now added her hidden flair for directing.

“Everyone loves a jukebox musical,” Watson said in pre-show interviews and she’s right. There’s lots to love about the Wonderettes and they constantly make you smile, laugh out loud, burst into song or just leave the theatre happy.

The Marvelous Wonderettes keep the party going until March 28 and you’re welcome to drop into their gym at any time.

Mr. Lee’s rating: Nine lollipops out of 10.


The Marvelous Wonderettes deliver non-stop pop. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Saanich police are warning residents that rutting season has begun and deer may get their antlers tangled in items left in yards. (Saanich Police Department/Twitter)
Deer with items tangled in antlers spotted in Saanich as rutting season begins

Police, B.C. Conservation Service warn of possibly aggressive bucks through fall

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party’s climate action platform at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. Greens say minority government can best address ‘overlapping crises’

Furstenau talks to the News Bulletin about coalitions, old-growth forests and ferries

Calling All People: The Story of TemPeSt Grace Gale is currently in the post-production phase. Screengrab photo
‘A beautiful, inspiring person’: Hornby artist featured posthumously in film

The island’s only homicide continues to be a cold case more than 10 years later

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island this week

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Sibling squirrels in recovery after sap situation leads to tail amputation

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Saanich firefighters were called out to Hartland Road on Oct. 21 to help transport a mountain biker with neck and back injuries out of the woods. (Black Press Media file photo)
Patient with neck, back injuries rescued from Saanich bike trails

Saanich firefighters called in to help paramedics with transportation off Mount Work

This photo of Wood Elementary School was taken in 2016. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
COVID-19 case reported at Wood Elementary School in Port Alberni

Date of potential exposure was Monday, Oct. 19

Larry Whetstone is concerned about the condition of Jeffries Road, where he has lived for 30 years. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Poor condition of rural road in Cowichan has resident fed up

Transportation Ministry says repair plan under development

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

(Black Press Media file photo)
One man injured, Victoria police seek more suspects afer Centennial Square brawl

Police were called around 4:30 p.m. for reports of multiple people fighting

The Cowichan Steelheads’ Jesus Martinez (left) and the Cowichan 49ers’ Daryl Rodgers chase down the ball during Saturday night’s all-Cowichan clash at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan masters derby takes unexpected turn with broken leg

Soccer community comes together in midst of battle

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be on Vancouver Island

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

Most Read