By RUSSELL INGOLD
If a person would say, "Name some of the top musical acts of the
1960s," I would probably begin by listing the following well-known
artists: the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix.
But I realize now that by adhering to this typical list, I'm leaving
out a very significant category of performers: women.
With its latest musical revue, Candlelight Pavilion is doing a fine
job of reminding us that many women contributed greatly to the music
of the turbulent decade of the '60s.
"Beehive: the '60s Musical" celebrates the talents of superstar
female artists such as Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, the Supremes by
providing energetic versions of 40 popular songs from 40 years ago.
The original stage production of "Beehive" was first presented in
1985 and ran for more than 18 months off-Broadway at the Village Gate
Theatre in New York City.
Now director/choreographer Jubel Obien is bringing this entertaining
show (named after the famous beehive hairdo) to the Candlelight stage
at 455 West Foothill Boulevard in Claremont through Feb. 15.
Nine talented women - Jo-D Dalcour, Sheila Ferrari, Kitty Kramer,
Tamra Lamese-Dozier, Samantha Mills, Collette Peters, Daniella
Samuel, Melissa Smilow, and Nicole Tillman - take turns belting out
songs that keep audience members smiling and clapping. The singers
are aided by the Beehive Band, comprised of Don Cloud on piano,
Jeremy Burgan on bass, Mark Bollinger on guitar, and Emmanuel
Cervantes on drums.
"Beehive" accurately portrays the sharp dichotomy between the
typically peppy, lighthearted music of the first half of the 1960s
(which was really a continuation of the '50s) and the much more
serious music of the second half of the decade, which was
characterized by social upheaval due to the civil rights and women's
The first half of the show is highlighted by songs such as "My
Boyfriend's Back" and "Downtown," and ends with an ensemble
performance of Sonny and Cher's "The Beat Goes On," which is an
appropriate way of signaling that the musical winds are shifting.
In Act 2, "Beehive" offers powerhouse performances by Tillman as Tina
Turner (singing "Proud Mary"); Lamese-Dozier as Aretha Franklin
("Respect"); and Kramer as Janis Joplin ("Piece of My Heart").
Kramer, in fact, is so effective in her depiction of the tragically
self-destructive Joplin that the mood of the musical turns very
somber and depressing.
Fortunately, the show is then revived when the nine ladies come
together for some fun and uplifting numbers that send everyone home happy.
My only quibble with the show was that one of my favorites, Nancy
Sinatra's "These Boots are Made for Walkin'," was not included.
Now I'm looking forward to the day when great music by female artists
of more modern times - such as Joan Jett, Heart, the Go-Gos, the
Bangles, Janet Jackson, Alanis Morissette, Shakira, and Missy Elliott
- could be made into a musical. (In keeping with the hair theme of
"Beehive," this updated show could be called "B-52s," featuring
music, of course, by the band of that name.)
THE "BEEHIVE" show is accompanied by a gourmet dinner offering
patrons choices between steak, chicken, fish and vegetarian entrees.
Performances include evening shows Thursdays through Sundays, with
matinees on Saturdays and Sundays.
Ticket prices range from $48 to $75 and include dinner and the show.
For more information or reservations, call (909) 626-1254 or visit