‘Ruthless! The Musical’ at Dundalk Community Theatre

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They say that some people are born with talent. When we look at the family trees of the Fondas, the Brolins, and the Barrymores, we are not surprised to see the acting talent run through their veins. Sometimes, however, an actor can been overflowing with talent and have the right family connections but is still overlooked for a part…that’s when it’s time to get a little Ruthless!!!!

With Shannon Wollman, Kaitlyn Wise, Brian Jacobs and Tatiana Dalton. Photo courtesy of Dundalk Community Theatre.
Cast members  Shannon Wollman, Kaitlyn Wise, Brian Jacobs, and Tatiana Dalton. Photo courtesy of Dundalk Community Theatre.

Written by Joel Paley and with music by Marvin Laird, Ruthless! The Musical tells the story of June Cleaver-esque housewife Judy Denmark and her incredibly talented daughter, Tina. When Tina is passed over for the lead role in her school play, the young girl stops at nothing (and I mean NOTHING) to be the star. Tina’s “ruthless” act leads to a number of revelations within her family that change everyone’s lives and open their eyes to the costs of stardom.

As Judy Denmark, Tatiana Dalton grabs the audience’s attention and has them laughing from the moment she steps onstage. Her wide-eyed and wholesome rendition of “Tina’s Mother” starts the show off with a bang, and she marvelously morphs into the suave Ginger DelMarco for Act II.

Her character may have been passed over for a role, but it is no surprise why Kaitlyn Wise earned the role of Tina for this production. She beautifully belts out tunes such as “Born to Entertain” and matches that musical ability with her fabulous acting. Look out Broadway—Kaitlyn Wise is coming your way!

  Kaitlyn Wise (Tina Denmark). Photo courtesy of Dundalk Community Theatre.
Kaitlyn Wise (Tina Denmark). Photo courtesy of Dundalk Community Theatre.

Brian Jacobs’ hilarious performance as Sylvia St. Croix is perfection! He delivers his one-liners with ease, drawing constant laughs from the audience, and he commands the stage during his performances of “Talent” and “I Want the Girl.”

Both Jamie Miller and Kelly Rardon play double duty, each performing different roles in the first and second acts. Miller is incredibly believable (and very funny) as the beleaguered teacher Myrna Thorn who laments about the horrors of “Teaching Third Grade” in Act I, and she is very strong as reporter Miss Block in Act II. Rardon also shows her comedic range by switching from the role of 8 year-old Louise Lerman in Act I to obsessed assistant Eve in Act II.

Dundalk Community Theatre alum Shannon Wollman portrays theatre critic Lita Encore, whose performance of the song “I Hate Musicals” is not only ironic but is also beautifully performed. It’s a tour de force!

Shannon Wolmann ( )
Shannon Wollman (Lita Encore). Photo courtesy of Dundalk Community Theatre.

John Desmone does amazing work in directing these talented actors. Musical Director Michael W. DeVito accentuates the beautiful voices of the cast with his outstanding group of musicians.

Amanda Dickson’s choreography is simple and adorable, especially the dances created for Tina’s school play audition.

Special recognition goes to Marc W. Smith, who not only coordinates the sound and lights, but his sets are just incredible—beautifully changing from suburban 1960’s to NYC in the 70’s. And a huge round of applause goes to Costumer James J. Fasching, whose wardrobe choices help to tell the story and allow the actors to sparkle as the fabric beautifully catches the stage lights.

Lita Encore may exclaim that she hates musicals, but everyone will LOVE Ruthless! The Musical. With a hilarious script, excellent direction and tons of musical talent, Dundalk Community Theatre’s hilarious Ruthless! The Musical is not to be missed or Tina is coming after you!

Running Time: Approximately two and a half hours, including a 15-minute intermission.

Ruthless! The Musical plays through November 8, 2015 at the John E. Ravekes Theatre at the Community College of Baltimore County Dundalk – 7200 Sollers Point Road, in Baltimore, MD. For tickets, call the Box Office at (443) 840-ARTS, or purchase them online.

RATING: FIVE-STARS-82x1555.gif