Alhambra’s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Review

The Alhambra Theatre opened the second show of the 2011 season, with the family friendly musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It continues through May 22, with performances every evening except Monday, and matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

Although this musical debuted on Broadway, this is the first North Florida production. Why? The musical features great dance numbers, requiring many dancers. Unless you live in a very large city, like New York or Chicago, there are just not enough dancers for Community Theater to mount a production. Director Tod Booth selected his dancing and singing talent from all over the USA.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was one of the top movie musicals of the 1950s, and in fact holds a place in the Top Ten MGM Musicals of all time. It opened on Broadway, and the score was nominated for a Tony. It was revived in 2007 at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, with some new songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn joining the original Johnny Mercer tunes.

The simple plot goes like this. Adam, the eldest of seven fur-trapping brothers in 1850 in Oregon Territory brings home a wife, Milly after a whirlwind courtship. She begins to civilize the other six, who realize the merits of women and are ready to look for romances of their own. The brothers wind up kidnapping six of the lovely damsels in a nearby town, and then bring them back to the homestead, where all the fun begins.

About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.