Pictured: Ryder Bach and Jason Hite. Lovin' that song. Courtesy Photo: Kevin Berne.com
LEE HARTGRAVE REVIEWS
GIRLFRIEND AT BERKELEY REP
I’M IN LOVE, I’M IN LOVE, I’M IN LOVE WITH A DAZZLING ‘GIRLFRIEND’
This is a sharp-edged musical that is sly and rascally played by two outstanding actors – Ryder Bach (Will) and Jason Hite (Mike). When it’s all over, you’ll want to stand up and cheer.
Not only are the leads terrific actors – they blaze through eleven entertaining songs about love, yearning for love, breaking up and getting back together.
The songs carry the story. For instance, there is the achingly beautiful “You Don’t Love Me” (Lyric: “You can’t see how I matter in this world”) – backed with plaintive guitar sounds. The boys sing out their love for each other with heart on the sleeve emotions. They are so touching and so real. You’re not watching just a musical. No, you are watching young love as they give us lyrics that deal with betrayal, anger and of course love.
If this musical doesn’t grab you by the Balls and twist you around, then you must be soul less. The music by Matthew Sweet --smoothly segues from astounding musical riffing – and acoustic genius, plus tear jerking moments. Ah, but wait – there is happiness and joy along the way.
At the beginning the music kinda startles you. But, it mellows out with melodic rock that will actually have you singing it during intermission in the bathroom. The guitar music is not to excess and the words are perfectly clear. You won’t miss a thing.
“Girfriend” -- is a perfectly crafted musical. It’s the one. The one that you will want to tell your friends about. It’s real, it’s you – and Gay or straight, you will find things that bring memories back to you from your high school years. That you can bet on!
MEET THE FANTASTIC BAND: Julie Wolf – Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards and backing vocals. Shelley Doty – Lead guitar, backing vocals. Jean DuSablon – Bass. And on Drums ieela Grant.
With great flair – The book by Todd Almond strikes Gold. Fun, Fluid Choreography by famed Joe Goode and striking Direction by Les Waters.
AT THE BERKELEY REP THEATRE
RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked-
(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook Section and Produced – Hosted a long-running Årts Segment on PBS KQED)))