Life could be a dream, especially if you have the good fortune of being in the audience at the American Heartland Theatre performance of “Life Could Be A Dream”. Written and created by Roger Bean, with musical arrangements by Roger Bean and Jon Newton and additional musical arrangements by Steve Parsons. Steven Eubank provides direction and choreography and Anthony T. Edwards does the musical direction for the American Heartland production.
It’s a musical, it’s a love story, it’s a tragedy, and all statements are true, though the tragedy is that it ends too soon. For those in the audience old enough to remember the songs it will bring back memories and for those too young it will create a sensational memory of their own. The play is the story of a group of guys who want to win a radio talent contest. Enter the sponsors’ daughter and the love story begins.
Lauren Braton plays Lois the daughter of the sponsor who develops the band for the contest. Having heard Braton in another production it was no surprise at what a beautiful voice she has. She is excellent in the role and proves her acting talent as she maneuvers the boys to possible victory. The final number of the first act, as Lois and Skip (played by Eddie Egan) sing Unchained Melody, is one of the most stunning numbers that has been heard on a Kansas City stage.
Egan, a New Jersey native, is an excellent choice for Skip, the mechanic turned singer who becomes the lead singer of the group. For those who remember the 50’s heart throb James Dean, Egan’s persona reminds us of him, with a fantastic voice. Be ready for the sigh from the audience as he removes his leather jacket, revealing a tight fitting tee.
Seth Golay plays the awkward and clumsy Eugene, who once was jilted by Lois, but there is nothing clumsy in his singing. His solos are fantastic and if he didn’t look so much like a Eugene he could have sung the role of Skip.
David Spadora and Noah Whitmore complete the rest of the cast. Both actors have fabulous singing voices and bring believability to their respective roles. Spadora, as Wally, plays the son of a preacher who has a voice straight from heaven. Whitmore is outstanding as Denny, who begins the singing group then takes a back seat to Skip. Whitmore’s flamboyant style as Denny adds to the humor and his voice blends perfectly with the others.
Having watched “Life Could Be A Dream” seeing any of these performers names on a playbill would make that production a must see. “Life Could Be A Dream” plays at the American Heartland Theatre in Crown Center through April 21.