We went to see Beehive at the Oregon Cabaret Theater last night. The link is to a newspaper review of the show. Music interspersed with some narrative to set or change the tone, along with clothing, hairstyles, and dancing that evoke the 1960s, is what it was all about.
It was called Beehive for the hairstyle that dominated the era for a long period. That prompted me to wonder what they’d call a musical named after our current error. Fake News? Smart Phone? Fragmented?
The show started in 1960. Most of the early years featured girl group or all female ensembles. Intermission came at the end of 1963.
With ’64 came the Brit pop-invasion, but what really changed the music was America’s evolving politics. If you were present in the mid to late 1960s, you know about the protests, the Vietnam war body counts, the civil rights movement, rioting, discontent, assassinations, and the growing power and influence of television and entertainment.
The subject matter for songs changed from simple, almost naive and innocent about meeting the right boy and falling in love to They did a fantastic job in last night’s show of portraying those changes through dance and music, highlighting singers like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Janis Joplin, and their diverse styles and mind-blowing performances.
Performances of “Where the Boys Are”, “You Don’t Own Me”, “To Sir with Love”, “Me and Bobby McKee”, and “Chain of Fools” stood out for me. But for today’s theme music, I went with a group of four young women from New Jersey who were there at the beginning.
Wherever these singers, musicians, and songwriters came from, thanks for the ride.