Life Could Be a Dream needs more rock, less talk

The cast of Life Could be a Dream.
The cast of Life Could be a Dream.
Photos courtesy Old Log Theatre

The Old Log Theater opens its 75th season with a show as bland as the white-bread sandwiches the generic singing wannabes chow down on early in the show.

Life Could Be a Dream is the latest jukebox musical from Roger Bean, whose past shows include The Marvelous Wonderettes, Summer of Love, and The Andrews Brothers.

See also: Old Log opens 75th season with new look and doo-wop musical

This time out, Bean turns his attention to the doo-wop and pop sounds of the 1950s and early 1960s, packing the show with plenty of crowd-pleasing tunes, from "Duke of Earl" to "Get a Job" to "Unchained Melody."

It's all wrapped up in a paper-thin story about some youngsters in any one of America's many Springfields trying to win a recording contract and become stars. There's also a bit of conflict over a girl and a mechanic from the wrong side of town.

It's all in service of the songs, of course, but these moments tend to drag the pace down. It doesn't help that the quintet of characters never move beyond their one-dimensional roots, be they greaser or geek.

The company shows plenty of talent, especially when they get down to business and sing. The five of them have voices that easily blend together, while each has the pipes to take the lead when needed.

Leading the charge are John Jeffords as the gilded-voiced mechanic Skip and Stephanie Cousins as the beautiful and strong-willed Lois. There are sparks (in an innocent, Eisenhower-era kind of way) in their performances, especially when they share the lead on "Unchained Melody."

By the end, Life Could Be a Dream lacks any kind of bite, as each smoothly sung song runs into the next smoothly sung song. They desperately need more Motown (or wait a couple of years for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones) in their diet.


Life Could Be a Dream Through January 3 Old Log Theater 5185 Meadville St., Greenwood $16-$35 For tickets and information, call (952) 474-5951 or visit online.

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Old Log Theater

5185 Meadville St.
Excelsior, MN 55331


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