“Beehive: The 60s Musical” Rocks Lake Tahoe

By Chris Narloch

I can’t think of a better way to escape this sweltering Sacramento summer than with a trip to Tahoe, where daytime temperatures top out in the 70s and 80s and the beautiful blue waters of Lake Tahoe beckon.

If you can go this summer, I recommend taking a trip to Tahoe before August 24, when “Beehive: The 60s Musical” closes its run. The terrific production, originally created by Larry Gallagher, comes courtesy of Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, which is alternating their staging of “Macbeth” with this colorful and tuneful show.

 

I wasn’t able to catch “Macbeth,” but I loved “Beehive.” Both productions are playing outdoors at Sand Harbor, inside Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. I had never been to a Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival show before, but I will definitely return next summer, if only to re-experience their lovely, open-air venue which is surrounded by pine trees.

The sun-dappled, blue-green waters of Lake Tahoe are visible behind the stage before and during the show. By the end of the evening, the lake is lit by the moon and by the stars, making for a stunning backdrop.

Aside from the lovely theater, the other six reasons to see “Beehive” are Adrianna Cleveland, Annalise Griswold, Shelby Griswold, Christiana Perrault, Camille Robinson, and Hannah-Jo Weisberg, the multi-talented singers/actresses who light up the stage during this sensational show.

The musical is a frothy flashback that includes thirty-plus hit songs over two acts that chart the history of women during the 50s and 60s, beginning with the beehive hairstyle and girl groups such as The Shirelles and The Chiffons through hippie fashions and solo superstars like Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin.

Speaking of Joplin, Shelby Griswold really got the crowd going near the end of the show during her three numbers as Janis (“Cry Baby,” “Try,” and “Me and Bobby McGee”). If there had been a roof on the theater, Griswold surely would have raised it.

Another crowd favorite was the sassy song “My Boyfriends Back,” which was totally sold by Annalise Griswold (no relation to Shelby). Each of the show’s six women gets a chance to take center stage and shine, however, and I would be hard-pressed to choose a favorite out of this beautiful bunch, all of them members of Actors’ Equity with impressive credits.

Although “Beehive” has some dialogue, it’s basically a jukebox musical – but what a jukebox: “It’s My Party,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Will You Still Love Me,” “One Fine Day,” “You Don’t Own Me,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” “To Sir With Love,” “Proud Mary,” “Chain of Fools,” and “Somebody to Love,” to name a few.

It was fun too that the show introduced me to several songs, including “The Name Game” and “Academy Award,” that I had never heard before. The superb six-man band, partially visible behind the stage, is also integral to the show’s success.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the musical’s brisk direction by Victoria Bussert, the perfect costumes by Esther M. Haberlen, the creative choreography by Gregory Daniels, the crisp sound design by David Gotwald, and the superb scenic and lighting design by Jeff Herrmann and Greg Hofmann, respectively.

“Beehive: The 60s Musical” plays through August 24, and “Macbeth” runs through August 26 at Sand Harbor. For more information, visit http://laketahoeshakespeare.com.

Photo captions:

Janis. Laura (actor, Shelby Griswold) rocks as Janis Joplin. (Photo by Joy Strotz)

Beehive Dance. The Beehive Girls go to prom (actors, Adrianna Cleveland, Hannah-Jo Weisberg, Christiana Perrault, Camille Robinson, Shelby Griswold, Annalise Griswold, left to right). (Photo by Joy Strotz)

 

eehive- The 60s Musical

(5

)

:

Beehive Dance. The Beehive Girls go to prom (actors, Adrianna Clevel

and,

Hannah-Jo Weisberg, Christiana Perrault, Camille Robinson, Shelby Griswold,

Annalise Griswold, left to

right) in Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

s production of

Beehive- The 60s Musical

at Sand Harbor in

Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, which runs through August 26. (Photo by

Joy Strotz)

Beehive- The 60s Musical

(5

)

:

Beehive Dance. The Beehive Girls go to prom (actors, Adrianna Clevel

and,

Hannah-Jo Weisberg, Christiana Perrault, Camille Robinson, Shelby Griswold,

Annalise Griswold, left to

right) in Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

s production of

Beehive- The 60s Musical

at Sand Harbor in

Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, which runs through August 26. (Photo by

Joy Strotz)

Beehive- The 60s Musical

(5

)

:

Hannah-Joristiana Perrault, Camille Robinson, Shelby Griswold,

Annalise Griswold, left to

right) in Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

s production of

Beehive- The 60s Musical

at Sand Harbor in

Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, which runs through August 26. (Photo by

Joy Strotz)

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