Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Annandale High School The Boy Friend

By • Apr 22nd, 2008 • Category: Cappies

Every one knows the latest dance steps in Annandale High School’s production of The Boy Friend.

The Boy Friend, a lovable yet corny spoof of the musicals of the 1920’s, is set on the French Riviera. It follows the story of a wealthy student at Madame Dubonnet’s Finishing School for Girls named Polly and her dream of finding a boyfriend. A few dances, songs and proposals later has Polly in the arms of Tony a phony messenger boy and her true love.

Written by Sandy Wilson, The Boy Friend marked Julie Andrews’ critically acclaimed Broadway debut. The original production ran for a little more than 2,000 performances and was briefly the third-longest running musical in the history of both West End and Broadway.

Kelsey Blanco‘s portrayal of the boyfriend-longing, Polly, was enjoyable. Whether flirting with her new-found boyfriend, or coercing Hortense to keep her relationship with Tony a secret, Blanco consistently stayed in character and possessed the apprehension and excitement needed to believably play any girl in love for the first time. Danny DeVera was convincing as the love-stricken Tony, and his heel-clicks and other maneuvers entertained the audience. Both voices blended nicely together especially on the song “I Could be Happy With You.”

Natalie Schwien provided a cute characterization as Maisie and exhibited great chemistry with her counterpart Bobby (Eric Jurenas). Although some accents faded in and out, Jenni Patton’s accent never wavered. Her portrayal of the maid, Hortense was on the mark and often had the audience bursting into laughter.

The elegant Madame Debonnet was portrayed by Alaina Talley. Her flawless French accent, amazing soprano voice, and vivid facial expressions allowed her to capture the heart of the audience especially in the song “Poor Little Pierette.”

In most dances, choreographed by Becky Lallande and Rachel Wattenbarger, the ensembles lacked a certain cohesiveness. An exception to this were the songs “Nicer in Nice” and “Safety in Numbers.” Both songs showcased the vocal talents of Jenni Patton and Natalie Schwien and were complimented by the energy and dancing of the male ensemble.

The set by Mike Farmer was beautifully designed and reminiscent of the time period. Whether at Madame Dubonnet’s finishing school for young girls, by the seaside or on the terrace of cafe Pataplon, the set provided the actors with plenty of space to maneuver.

Despite some energy lacking on stage from time to time and a few trifles here and there, I will not “Fancy Forgetting” Annandale’s production of The Boy Friend anytime soon.

by Steve Einhorn of Robert E. Lee

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