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7 Brides for 7 Brothers Stirs Up La Mirada Theater

 

By Brian Hews

La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts premiered Seven Brides for Seven Brothers last weekend and the musical based on the book by Lawrence Kasha and David Landay was a huge crowd favorite for those who were lucky enough to have attended.

The whimsical presentation was based on the 1954 Stanley Donen film of the same name which is, itself, an adaption of the short story “The Sobbin’ Women,” by Stephen Vincent Benét.

The La Mirada Theater was the perfect setting for the musical that portrays life back in 1850s Oregon. The moving “set” of the musical was collaboration of 350-pound panels ranging from the town down the mountain to the brother’s house up in the mountains.

Most of the story takes place on an Oregon ranch, maintained by Adam Pontabee (Kevin Earley) and his six brothers. When Adam brings home his new bride Milly (Beth Malone), she is appalled at the brothers’ slovenliness and sets about turning these unwashed louts into immaculate gentlemen. During the boisterous barn-raising scene, the brothers get into a scuffle with a group of townsmen over the affection of six comely lasses.

Yearning to become husbands like their big brother, they ask Adam for advice. Alas, he has been reading a book about the abduction of the Sabine Women (or, as he puts it, the Sobbin’ Women); and, in order to claim their gals, Adam explains, the boys must kidnap them–which they do, after blocking off all avenues of escape.

Vowing to remain on their best behavior, the boys make no untoward advances towards their reluctant female guests–not even during one of the coldest winters on record. Comes the spring thaw, the angry townsfolk come charging up the mountain, demanding the return of the stolen girls (who, by this time, have “tamed” their men). A happy ending is ultimately had by all in this delightful if politically incorrect concoction.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers had a successful national tour and then opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on July 8, 1982 after fifteen previews, and has garnered Tony Awards in the past.

The musical version staged in La Mirada was bursting with the rambunctious energy, just like the original film.

Weekday tickets (Wed – Thurs) are $20 – $66.50, weekend Tickets (Fri – Sun): $20 – $70. Discounts for groups, seniors, students & children are available. To purchase you may call the Box Office at 562.944.9801. Performances: April 12 – May 5, 2013. Wed.- Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm; Sundays at 2pm. Audience Talk-Back sessions with the cast will be Wednesdays, April 17 and May 1, 2013.

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