Revisting Rodgers and Hammerstein: Some Enchanted Evening Reviewed

In musical theater, there are no names more synonymous with the genre than Rodgers and Hammerstein. These two men crafted some of the world’s most beloved songs - some of which have become entrenched in our minds as the epitome of what musical theater is thought to be. These songs have touched the hearts of millions worldwide, and now through November 1, they will lighten the hearts of suburban Chicagoans at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles in Some Enchanted Evening.

Utilizing songs from many of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most popular works, Some Enchanted Evening has its cast of characters (played by Mike Arthur, Cassandra Liveris, Catherine Lord, David Meadows, and Andrea Prestinario) sing these classic songs to each other and the audience, all while accompanied by a single pianist (Tom Clear).

Fellows David Meadows (left) and Mike Arthur (right) cling to frightened Andrea Prestinario (center) during the song “A Fellow Needs a Girl”

Aptly described as a kind of a “dialogue,” the songs in Some Enchanted Evening are arranged in a fashion that gives the vague sense of a love story developing between the characters; using songs like “There’s Nothing Like a Dame” and "The Gentleman is a Dope” to portray some of the male and female character’s perspective on “relationships.” The play continues in this fashion throughout the first act, using songs from Oklahoma and West Side Story as dialogue in what could be considered a loosely knit narrative.

The first half of the play, consisting largely of ensemble pieces, is actually able to build the personalities of the five main characters by having them each headline specific kinds of songs; the subject matter and tempo of each song giving an idea as to the kind of individual each character is. The second half of the play, however, is devoted to the individual characters, with each singing selected songs that fit into what has been intimated as each character’s personality. These songs range from the upbeat (“Kansas City”), to the mesmerizing and almost haunting (“Out of my Dreams”).

Cast members (left to right) Cassandra Liveris, Catherine Lord, and Andrea Prestinario pose after singing “I Enjoy Being a Girl”

At first glance, it might just seem like the Some Enchanted Evening is an oversimplified revue of a bunch of classic Broadway musicals. (The stage is a set up as if the audience is actually sitting on the stage looking out into the seats watching these actors at a rehearsal.) But once one realizes that the songs are not necessarily meant to be related to their original contexts, the play and the songs take on whole new meanings, showing a depth never before thought to exist.

A challenge for any musical revue is to set itself apart from the songs that it is a revue of; Some Enchanted Evening succeeds at this. Having no dialogue whatsoever, the play actually does a decent job of developing these characters with a selection of songs far removed from their original context. Having a certain character sing a certain song truly gives a sense of what that character is about. Combine this with a selection of actors that have a great chemistry with one another, and one has themselves an excellent character-based musical revue - one that fights tedium and mediocrity by stripping down all of the elements of a Musical, making a performance of some of theater’s most memorable material even more memorable.

Some Enchanted Evening is playing now through November 1, 2008 at the Pheasant Run Resort at 4051 E. Main St. In St. Charles, IL. For tickets or more information, please visit, or call the theater box office at 630-584-6342.

Top of Page
Join Splash Magazines

Feature Article

Tempflow™ and Tempur-Pedic® Reviews - What 35 Hours of Research Uncovered

Want Your Business to Male a Splash
<!-- #wrapper -->