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A happy note for L.A.'s 'Marvelous Wonderettes'

September 17, 2008 |  3:01 pm

Wonderettes A syrupy sweet little jukebox musical that Los Angeles and Orange County audiences found so, well, marvelous seems to have some fans in the Big Apple.

The Marvelous Wonderettes,” which ran in Los Angeles for nearly two years, revolves around four high school classmates at their 1950s prom, then (after intermission, of course) catches up with them a decade later at their class reunion. Standards from the '50s and '60s like “Lollipop,”  “It’s My Party” and “Leader of the Pack” are central to the “story,” which, naturally, contains themes of love, heartbreak, friendship, schoolgirl crushes and bubbly, bubbly giggles.

“Wonderettes” opened off-Broadway last Sunday with a cast that includes two of L.A. theater’s favorite actresses, Bets Malone and Beth Malone (no, that’s not a typo, and no, they’re not related). New York critics not generally known for being L.A.-theater friendly (Just ask those boys from “Jewtopia”) seemed to eat up this fluffy, chiffon-filled show. The New York Times called it “an utter charm bomb”; Variety noted, “It’s the kind of fun that keeps cash registers ringing”; and the Associated Press crowed, “The fun never stops.”

Well, maybe not: The fun apparently stopped for the NY Post (“like overdosing on sweets”) and Talking Broadway (“a catastrophic miscalculation”).

Nonetheless, buoyed by the mostly positive reviews, the producers announced today that the Wonderettes will head into the studio Thursday to record a cast album.

Get the insulin ready.

-- Lisa Fung

From left: Victoria Matlock, Farah Alvin, Bets Malone and Beth Malone in "The Marvelous Wonderettes." Photo by Carol Rosegg