On YouTube, you can find video footage of Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera performing numbers from the original Chicago production. Watching these films is a fascinating style study as the women can be seen performing the exact same choreography in unison, but each woman’s identity shines through – Chita’s movements are smoother, while those of Gwen are looking for precision. It is beautiful and exciting to see the individuality within the unit.
That’s what happened last night at Don’t Tell Mama when The Randy Andys performed.
Three women with distinct styles have come together to form an old-fashioned girl group with harmonies as tight as their choreography, and although they act as a perfect entertainment organism, the originality of each woman has never been. diminished – every woman has been allowed, no, encouraged to shine brightly during her time on stage. This is a pure brotherhood of actresses, lifting each other up into the limelight and offering full support at all times, while providing a near-full crowd with top-notch entertainment.
The Randy Andys is a modern day Andrews Sisters vocal group, paying homage to the sound and movement of the most famous’ 40s girl group of all time … but they don’t sing the music of LaVerne, Maxene and Patty , they sing the songs of artists who roam the halls of the music industry today – and that’s one of the most important elements to enjoying a Randy Andys Show. Listening to Louella, Bev and Jojo smoothly perform compositions originally made famous by Lizzo, Madonna, Beyonce and Selena Gomez in the three-part harmony styles of a bygone era is a breathtaking fusion of two worlds, musically breathtaking and comically brilliant. Because you see, the Randy Andys don’t just stand in front of their perfectly aligned microphones and harmonize so theatrically that they evoke instrumental film music – it’s a spectacle. Not a simple doo-wop session, this skit has a guideline, vanity, and surprise plot device, and it works, all of it from start to finish. That can’t be said of every cabaret show that involves a whimsical notion, but it’s absolutely true with The Randy Andys because every actress on stage is fully engaged in what she does. At no time last night did the actresses playing Louella, Bev and Jojo become aware of the potential silliness of what the band was doing; at no time did either of the ladies laugh at her own joke. In comedy, it is essential to be as sincere as possible, to act upright, and to let the audience laugh for you. You are the butt of the joke, and you have to accept it if you want to keep laughing, and the ladies know it – they held on last night, from their first step on stage to the last moment when they were out of the room. , at the service of the play, the public and their well-being.
Turns out the Randy Andys are more than the three actresses featuring the music of Dolly Parton and Marilyn Monroe last night. The Randy Andys are a company of twelve singing actresses who cracked the code of how to make money with their art, rather than conforming to the stereotype of actors waiting at tables during auditions. While three of the Andys can perform at a club, three could be found at your private party providing fun, sophisticated (and sometimes naughty) entertainment for your own guests. Last night at Don’t Tell Mama the Andys there was Sarah Pothier as Louella, Catie Pires-Fernandes as Bev and Monica Blume as Jojo, but at one point they invited the ‘one of the other Randy Andys, Jocelyn Lonquist to make an appearance and sit, lovingly, in the shadows as their sister shone as intensely in her solo as each of them did in theirs, their gifts individual singers, actors and women exhibited with the full support of their sisters. While the stories are very different, the sight of these women working for each other was reminiscent of the female characters in the recent Mrs. America television series – just one more example of the ineffable power of women acting alone or in groups. And the Randy Andys are an impressive group – a group that this writer respects enough to refrain from naming the songs they perform, in order to preserve the element of surprise for future audiences. There’s no denying that whether he sings authentic period compositions or songs written last year, The Randy Andys will deliver quintessential musical and comedic entertainment, with a solid dose of woman power, which is right. like it should be.
The Randys Andys were beautifully conducted and accompanied on the piano by James Rushin.
The Randy Andys have a monthly residence in Pangea and can be seen there on August 12 and September 9. Their next appearance on Don’t Tell Mama will be on September 18. They will be in Massachusetts on July 24 at the Cotuit Center for the Arts and December 4 at the New Bedford Festival Theater.
Visit Randy Andys website HERE, their YouTube channel HERE and follow their Instagram @TheRandyAndys
Find other great shows to see on the Don’t Tell Mama website HERE and on the Pangea website HERE.
The Ladies of Randy Andys from last night’s performance also have websites:
Sarah Pothier WEBSITE
Catie Pires-Fernandes on Instagram: @CatiePF
Monica Blume WEBSITE
Jocelyn Lonquist WEBSITE
Photos of Stephen Mosher