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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

QNEK delights audiences with SUDS over the weekend

Below is a sideshow from Sunday’s performance of Suds: The Rocking 60’s Musical Soap Opera. All photos by Tanya Mueller.

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DERBY LINE — To write a review of QNEK’s latest show at the Haskell Opera House, I could spend a long time trying to come up with something clever to play off the title “SUDS,” which takes its name from the fact that the whole musical takes place inside a laundromat. “Soap-er duper,” was the best I could come up with.

But all bad puns aside, SUDS: The Rocking 60’s Musical Soap Opera, which just finished up its first weekend of performances, is truly a superb show.

SUDS celebrates the songs of the 60’s. Classics such as “Respect” and “These Boots are Made for Walkin’,” propel this lighthearted comedy along as a young woman and her guardian angels come to terms with the fact that “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

The show is fun for all ages. One of the things about SUDS, or more accurately, QNEK’s performance of SUDS, that I enjoyed most, is the talent that was displayed on stage by these four actors.

From left to right: Danielle Carrier, Ruth-Ann Fletcher, Jenny Dunne, Phil Gosselin
From left to right: Danielle Carrier, Ruth-Ann Fletcher, Jenny Dunne, Phil Gosselin
Jenny Dunne, Danielle Carrier, Ruth-Ann Fletcher, and Phil Gosselin delighted the audience with their mix of vocal talent, choreography, and comic timing.

You know you’re in for an entertaining evening after the lead character, Jenny Dunne, ends up in the opening scene stuck head first inside a washing machine with her legs sticking out, yet still kicking like an upside down member of The Rockettes. (See slideshow above for details). Not only does Dunne’s performance make you laugh, but she shows off her vocal range throughout the show.

Ruth-Ann Fletcher and Danielle Carrier work together as a pair of opposite personality type, guardian angles. Carrier plays the Doris Day type, squeaky-clean (sorry another bad pun) angel. Fletcher’s role is the capris-wearing polar opposite, who Carrier jokes early on in the show looks like she should be working at a laundromat or a bowling alley. The two sing, dance, and rib each other the whole time, both winning their way into the audience’s hearts.

Last but not least, Phil Gosselin, who not only acts in SUDS, but who also directed the show, proves himself to be a man of many hats, literally. During SUDS, Gosselin appears as many different characters. From the shy, nerdy type, to the super confident, secret agent type sporting a Humphrey Bogart jacket and bow tie. Gosselin reminded me of Fred Astaire, in his ability to charm the audience with his vocals, thrill them with his dance steps, and make everyone smile with his quirky physical comedy.

All in all, SUDS showcased the individual talent of all four actors, while bringing back the “good vibrations” of the sounds of the 60’s. With another weekend of shows coming up, SUDS is absolutely a DO NOT MISS. In their 21st season, QNEK is not disappointing local fans of theater.

SUDS is truly a soap-er duper, wild and crazy ride that will have you singing along and laughing out loud. If you want to attend one of the shows this weekend, below is a list of show times:

Friday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 20 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 20 7:30 p.m.

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