Yesterday my cousin Phyllis and I enjoyed a wonderful play called Respect. Because May is National Mental Month, and this play will lift your spirits, I thought it would be perfect to review. (However, at the other end of the spectrum is mental illness, which I explored on www.divorce-dayz.info with a review of the play, Next to Normal. Please go to my other site to see the review.)
The play is based on a book by Dorothy Marcic, also entitled Respect: RESPECT: Women and Popular Music. Here is an excerpt from the Internet about the book:
“A fresh look at the women’s movement, through the eyes and ears of pop music, during the twentieth century. Here are the most popular female-sung songs, written by men and women, and the impact their words had…. Dorothy Marcic connects the lyrics and reminiscences of these top-40 songs sung by women, together with the course of the women’s movement, showing where the lyrics heralded changes in women’s status and showing us what hasn’t changed at all.”
The play was a real treat, with songs we all remember, from “Diamond’s are a Girl’s Best Friend” to “Que Sera Sera.” The four women who starred in the play were all outstanding. The main “character” played the roll of author Dorothy Marcic. She also sang and provided excellent background information to the history of women through song and dialogue. She was very relaxed as though she was in her living room having a conversation with the audience.
The band was on the stage, as well as three circular screens that flashed people and places in history through the 20th century.Â Because of the historical significance of the narration and pictures, as well as the music, it would be an excellent play for high school kids and older students to see, in order to understand how far women have come from since 1901. In fact, it would be an excellent “lesson” in Women’s Studies at colleges.
Because the music was familiar and the three young women belted them out, the play was entertaining as well as enlightening. We both enjoyed it, as did the rest of the mostly older, female audience. The play is going on the road, so if it comes to your town, don’t miss it! It was created in association with Bud Martin, Act II Playhouse and Philip Roger Roy.
Here is a photo of the four stars of Respect at the celebration of their 100th performance. The show in Philadelphia has been extended twice, now until the end of June, and then it will go on the road. The four cast members from left to right are: Danielle Herbert, Carly Mayo, Eileen Matthews (who plays the part of the author Dorothy Marcic), and Heather Mays. They were all great!