Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


“SUDS” Really Spells S.O.S!

Who would have ever thought that being stuck in a Laundromat, listening to a bunch of frothy 60’s tunes would ever be deemed as one of the most bizarre nights in theatergoing history? “SUDS: The Musical” answers that question.

At a glance, for the serious musical theatergoer, the concept of using 1960’s nickelodeon songs as musical numbers, and a Laundromat as the backdrop for the plot is not exactly the most inventive or, better yet, appropriate idea for a musical which, at a first look, seems rather macabre.

You see, the plot is about Young Cindy (Erin Croncian) a washerwoman at the Wash-o Rama. She tries to commit suicide by tying a scarf around her neck and letting the washer do the strangling. This is because Cindy’s pen pal lover has broken off their correspondence relationship. Devastated, she feels Mr. Right has left her forever.

However, two guardian angels (Jessa Watson and Ria Carey) are dispatched by God to help Cindy realize there is more to life than just relying on men to keep her happy. As a result, the show is nothing more than three women with mixed feelings about men and love in general, singing the catchy songs that made the 60’s an unforgettable decade in pop music. Adding, to boot, is a young “Johnny Angel-esque” character, the only male performer (Corey Greenan), who becomes the bizarre object of affection for one of the hyperactive angels (Watson).

The seemingly absurd and melodramatic premise of this musical would have been headed for disaster, causing the average theatergoer to run straight for the parking lot, had it not been for the fine performances of the evening. Miss Watson acquits herself as the buxom, bubbly angel who resembles Delta Burke as Mrs. Meers on Broadway’s “Thoroughly Modern Millie”. Screeching and howling with delight every time Greenan enters as the male heartthrob, she steals every moment by squealing and cackling her way through such cheesy tunes as “You Don’t Own Me” and “Hey, Mr. Postman”.

Ria Carey, seems self-possessed enough and well assured that her talent of belting out numbers such as “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” and “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” are her way of getting through such a wretched mess of a musical.

Corey Greenan brings a sexually charged performance as the handsome teen idol. By constantly smiling and smirking like he were Conrad Birdie himself and swaggering about the stage as if all he cares for is to have the whole world notice what a great body he has, then he definitely got his character down pat.

Croncian, however, is the nadir of this show. Constantly flubbing song after song in a flat and a seemingly, unnecessarily overtaxed voice without any emotion except an annoying, fake perkiness, she exudes boredom and seems to be signaling, “S.O.S!” When she sings “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To”, you know she’s crying H-E-L-P.

However, no matter how awful the material, the songs make SUDS work because it is typically a frothy show many people would enjoy simply because the songs are infectious, fun, and bring memories of a time gone by. But of course, it would have done better without the plot.

This show closed June 20, 2004.Presented at the Cuillo Centre for the Performing Arts201 Clematis Street, WPB. (561) 835-9226.Starring: Erin Cronican, Ria Carey, Jessa Watson and Corey Greenan.Directed by Javier Velasco.Written by: Melinda Glib, Steve Gunderson, and Bryan Scott.

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