Surf’s up! The Bikinis bring their beach party to the Westchester Broadway Theatre

Published: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 Source: I On the Valley

Mix the appeal of mid-1960s beach music with the harmonies of girl groups of the era and you have the fun and lighthearted story of “The Bikinis”.  Based on a true story about a one-hit wonder singing group whose members reunite for a concert years later.

The musical follows four teenage girls who start on a musical career on the Jersey Shore in 1964 and start playing concerts and dream of making enough money to record a single and appear on American Bandstand.   Flash forward to New Years Eve 1999 and the ladies reunite for the first time in over 20 years at the town of Sandy Shores in New Jersey.

The four friends (two of whom are sisters) tell the tale of their meeting, their first concerts,  and following their musical dreams of making the big time.  Their story is interwoven through the music which starts with the lighthearted sounds of more innocent era of the mid 1960s, with songs like “Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” , “Where the Boys Are”, “Heat Wave”, “The Twist” and “Under the Boardwalk” which are a few of the 19 songs that comprise Act one.  The first Act is not only where we learn about the girls and their story, but it is an all out rocking beach party.

Act Two takes the band in a different direction as the music and the culture of the late 1960s changes, so do the girls and their sound.  The beach party now reflects a more complex time with songs from the era including “Time of the Season”, “Incense and Peppermints”, Dedicated to the one I Love” and “Look What You’ve Done to my Song”.   The band takes us briefly through the 1970s and into the disco era before returning us to the fun and lighthearted beach sound.

This is a light story of friends and music and times at the Jersey Shore.  There have been parallels drawn to “Jersey Boys”, but this is its own story and its full of fun.

The cast of Katy Blake (Annie), Anne Fraser Thomas (Barbara), Joanna Young (Jodi), and Karyn Quackenbush (Karla)  are wonderful with terrific vocals and harmonies.  After the show when I was able to interview some of the cast I found they had two weeks in rehearsals to learn their parts and the 35 songs in the performance.  These ladies performed like they had been doing this for years. Very impressive and the audience on opening night was very enthusiastic.  All the actors have years of experience including regional theater and Broadway.

The co-creators  Ray Roderick (also Director) and James Hindman,  have delivered an evening of fun, nostalgia, and music.

So warm yourself up this winter and get down to the beach party at the Westchester Broadway Theater through March 19th, 2017.