Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pick of the Day: Pump Boys and Dinettes at TPAC

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 5:01 AM

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Pump Boys and Dinettes
Where: TPAC's Johnson Theater
When: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 2:30 p.m. through May 12
Starting at $42.50

Folksy, funny and tuneful, this lighthearted but spunky musical has been around since the early 1980s, pleasing audiences of all ages with its colorful characters and country/pop score. Set somewhere in North Carolina, it tells the tale of four men who work at a gas station and two women who waitress at the nearby Double Cupp Diner. (It’s okay: Go ahead and chortle.)

The show’s usual challenge involves finding good musicians who can also carry off the acting. Not surprisingly, Tennessee Repertory Theatre director Rene Copeland appears to have things well in hand. Up front and center is the multi-talented Martha Wilkinson, performing in her third production of the show and undoubtedly primed to rock the house. On guitars, piano, bass and kitchen utensils — and also facile with the scripted material — will be Brad Albin, Jeff Boyet, Brooke Bryant, Taylor Jones and Jeffrey Williams.

This upbeat choice as the capper on The Rep’s very successful season has surefire hit written all over it. There are about 20 songs, including humorous selections such as “Be Good or Be Gone,” “Tips” and “TNDPWAM (The Night Dolly Parton Was Almost Mine).” Expect toe-tapping — maybe even foot-stomping.

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