Tag Archives: Nathaniel Hackman

A Dancing Feast At The Ogunquit Playhouse

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers

Through October 1st

reviewed by Bobby Franklin

I have to say I was not particularly excited by the thought of seeing Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. It has never been high on my list of movie musicals, though when it was released in 1954 it was a hit and earned an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical and a nomination for Best Picture. In 1982 it was staged on Broadway but did not last long. It has been revived a number of times over the years with changes being made as it went along.

Frank (Jeff Smith) Challenge Dance Photo: Jay Goldsmith
Frank (Jeff Smith) Challenge Dance
Photo: Jay Goldsmith

The production now playing through October 1st at the Ogunquit Playhouse has original choreography by Parker Esse, a man with no shortage of talent. And it is the dancing that makes this an enjoyable evening of theatre. Oh, the scenery, as usual at the Playhouse, is lovely, and the cast is strong, especially Analisa Leaming as Millie playing opposite Nathaniel Hackman as Adam.Ms Leaming is tall and beautiful with a lovely voice

Ms Leaming is tall and beautiful with a lovely voice

and she knows how to command the stage. Mr. Hackman fits the part of the strong and stubborn mountain man in search of a wife with his deep and full voice. But it is ultimately the dancing that makes this worth seeing.

A nice touch is having members of the orchestra come out onto the stage in costume for a number of the songs. The very lively Challenge Dance number is outstanding with amazing physicality. It is really something to see the potential brides being tossed over the heads of their suitors. The dancers were in perfect sync.

I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw, but I should never underestimate what the team at the Playhouse can accomplish with  Artistic Director Brad Kenney in charge. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a terrific old fashioned musical that makes for a fun time at the theater. This is one for the entire family to enjoy. It will make you feel like dancing down the aisle on the way out of the theater.

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers at the Ogunquit Playhouse
Directed by BT McNicholl
Through October 1st.
Box Office: 207.646.5511