Mark Guertin certainly wore a lot of hats and wigs when he emceed Mesquite on Broadway Nov. 11 and 12, some of them weren’t so pretty. They didn’t stop his introductions from being very entertaining, they just aided in the humor. Though, if ‘Annie’ had looked anything like Guertin in his red wig, it’s no wonder she became an orphan. The rather tattered red mess also didn’t stop the Mesquite kids from performing a rousing
rendition of ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life” from the musical. With the likes of Diana McKinney, Assistant Director, as the horrible Aggie Hannigan, it also no wonder the children’s lives were hard; she was scary. However, Mesquite children ages 5-15 did an outstanding job scrubbing, sweeping and singing their way across the Mesquite Community Theatre (MCT) stage and completely charmed their audience.
The kids weren’t the only ones who were hits with the audience members. The Save a Soul Band stumbled and bumbled their way across the stage, quite awkwardly, a couple of times. Schultz and McKinney looked more like deer in the headlights than someone who would have saved your soul but they provided the audience many laughs. The foursome of Susan Schultz, Diana McKinney, Nancy Hewett, looking slightly possessed, and Jennifer Wayman sure did an outstanding job of saving the health of audience members; after all, Laughter is the best medicine. Perhaps renaming themselves ‘The Save your Health Comedians’ would give them more confidence in their future endeavors; it would at least let folks know what they were really good at; it sure wasn’t being a soul saving band.
Cyndy Good, Doris Points and Diane McClure saved some ‘Memories’ from the show ‘Cats’ which they performed as beautifully as life once was for their feline characters. They had to dig through the trash in a back alley to eat, they had to struggle to survive, they looked a bit worn-out and wary of each other but the voices were far too sweet to be mistaken for a cat fight.
Some of the ‘Sun City Sounds’ guys were hoping luck was on their side Nov 11 and 12. Broadway sure isn’t the place for those guys. Three of them were seen earlier at the race track and spotted later playing dice with an even bigger group of guys; both days. Well, as things turned out, ‘Luck was a Lady’ each night and the MCT audience members were the winners; at least at the performances. If luck stays a lady, they’ll stay in Mesquite.
Cathy Petrus and Karen Ransdell may have performed a song from the show but there was nothing ‘Wicked’ about the way they sang ‘For Good’ which brought thunderous applause from an appreciative audience. The duo came back with a third singer later in the show, Jan Casebolt, and the three of them sang like true stars. Regular audience members are used to the extreme vocal talents of both Petrus and Ransdell but who knew throwing Casebolt into the mix would produce something good enough to shine so bright on Broadway?
LeMieux knew, and that’s why his shows are always a hit with the audience. His artistic talent and creativeness is as dynamic and wonderful as his, and wife Ava’s, dance moves which are also always a hit and so was their tryst to Fernando’s Hide-a-Way.
Mesquite Showgirls sure ‘showed’ the audience that there is much more to those women than just fluff and feathers when they ‘showed-up’ on stage and got everybody steamed up in an appropriately titled number ‘Steam Heat.’
Newly elected City Council member Brian Wursten proved that he can appeal to more than just the voting masses when he performed ‘Love is an Open Door’ with daughter Shanae Arave from the children’s favorite ‘Frozen’ and then a piece from the adult classic ‘Phantom of the Opera’ with Nanette Greener and won the hearts of the audience in a landslide victory.
Not that there was ever any competition about who were the best performers; there wasn’t a single number in the show that was any less entertaining than the others. The entire cast, crew, technicians and directors did an outstanding job showing the audience Broadway has nothing over Mesquite.
A full slideshow of the show is available for viewing here: https://youtu.be/87aCGbN96_k.