By Arlene McKanic
Ah, this is what the reviewer’s been waiting for! Beari Productions’ latest musical revue, “Magical, Musical Moments VIII: The ‘Reel’ Deal and More,” is up and it’s as magical as all the revues that have come before. This time there are songs not just the stage but from movies and the Top 40, thrown in for extra spice.
The 13 performers, most veterans of Beari, are dressed in elegant black — the jewelry worn by the women is sumptuous, even if it’s paste — and do their thing with verve under the direction of Debbie Bendana and musical director Alan Kingsley.
The performers are Candis Alek, Andria Amarosa, Michael D’Emidio, Amanda Doria, Steven Hoffman, Brendan Kerney, Matt Linkus, Christina Marinelli, Alison McGlynn, Jimmy O’Neill, Niki Sorrentino, Victoria Sorrentino and Richard Weyhausen.
The high points of the show are many, but among them are the opening act, when the company whips out cell phones for their rendition of the opening number from “Company,” with Michael D’Emidio as Bobby.
Then there’s Candis’ version of “The Girl in 14G,” where she sings both snatches of opera and scat in her beautiful soprano. The producers even snuck in “Nessun Dorma” for Candis to sing, and she does so with such tenderness that you forget that “Nessun Dorma” isn’t a love song.
Amanda shines in two big numbers, “If You Hadn’t But You Did” from “Two on the Aisle” and “Getting Married Today,” from “Company.” Amanda’s not only a wonderful singer but a great actress and comedienne. Even the lift of her eyebrow in “Getting Married Today” made the audience howl with laughter.
The male ensemble was amusing in “Thank God I’m A Country Boy,” with Richard on the washboard and spoon and Edwinâˆ’Nikko R. Kabigting on the violin — I mean fiddle. The company’s version of “Happy Trails To You,” which closed Act I, was cute, and the audience was invited to sing along, Karaoke style, to “Once in Love With Amy” from “Where’s Charley?” Since we’re in a recession, the lyrics were written on cue cards.
Richard and Andria were delightful in their duet “Why Do I Love Youâ„You Are Love” from “Showboat,” and Michael was stirring as he sang “They Call the Wind Maria” from “Paint Your Wagon.” By the way, Maria is pronounced “Mariah” — I think it’s a Southern thing.
Near the end of the hour the male ensemble came together again for songs from “Man of La Mancha” and the afternoon ended with a rousing version of a song whose name I won’t reveal, with Amanda leading the company.
As well as directing, Debbie did the lights and Ron Morris the spotlight, which often fell upon the singers and gave the show a nice, Broadwayish touch. Sound designer Cameron Hughes made sure the audience could hear everything clearly.
Once again, Beari Productions has put on a great show for spring. “Magical, Musical Moments VIII” will be at Trinity Church, 63âˆ’70 Dry Harbor Rd. in Middle Village, through March 22. Cal 718âˆ’736âˆ’1263 for information and reservations.