Links to all reviews can be found on the BTC REVIEWS page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my FaceBook fan page. You can receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

James Oblak as Skip, Will Selnick as Wally, Nick Laughlin as Denny & Lee Slobotkin as Eugene. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.

LIFE COULD BE A DREAM presented by Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati through May 20. You can read the show description here.

For DREAM, director D. Lynn Meyers has filled the cast with outstanding young talent. The four crooners that make up Denny and the Dreamers include Nick Laughlin as Denny, James Oblak as Skip, Will Selnick as Wally, and Lee Slobotkin as Eugene. Rounding out the cast is Cassie Levine as Lois.

Lee Slobotkin as Eugene & Nick Laughlin as Denny. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.

Vocally the men are very strong, and nail the sound of the period with solid harmonies and solos. Levine, the object of the boys’ attention, has a strong voice as well, but I did feel she pushed a little too hard on a few of her solos, bringing a brassy quality to her voice that didn’t mesh with the background vocals. Performance wise, Lee Slobotkin stands out as nebbish Eugene, bringing great energy and personality to the role.

Will Selnick as Wally & Cassie Levine as Lois. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.

Visually the wood-paneled and tile-floored finished-basement worked well as the backdrop for most of the action (set design by Brian c. Mehring, properties by Shannon Rae Lutz). My guess would be that some of the clutter under the basement steps included selected props from recent ETC productions. The costumes (designed by Reba Senske) and Patti James’ choreography completed the look of the era.

Nick Laughlin as Denny, Lee Slobotkin as Eugene, Cassie Levine as Lois & Will Selnick as Wally. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.

DREAM seems to have a bit more of a book than the WONDERETTES outings and falls a little flat due to its predictability. The cast sounded so good though (thanks to music director Scot Woolley), that I would not have minded another song or three in the short second act.

Overall, for fans of doo-wop or fans of ETC’s recent productions of THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES/WINTER WONDERETTES, odds are good you’ll enjoy the (mostly) boys’ turn in LIFE COULD BE A DREAM.

Click here for a complete list of show times, local media coverage and other reviews for LIFE COULD BE A DREAM.

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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