Review: Pump Boys and Dinettes at Village Theatre

After a successful run in Issaquah, the Pump Boys and Dinettes are hittin’ the road and movin’ up Washington’s Highway 57. OK, it’s just I-5, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring.

The Village Theatre in Everett opened Pump Boys and Dinettes on Oct. 28. The house was packed and the stage set for an evening jam-packed with non-stop musical talent. The set, designed by Andrea Bryn Bush, includes an immense amount of depth and detail with a modest amount of space. One half functions as the Pump Boys’ garage, complete with an old pickup truck. It’s darker in color and a little rougher around the edges in comparison to the Dinettes’ domain. Owned by sisters Rhetta Cup (Sara Porkalob) and Pruddie Cup (Sylvie Davidson), the retro diner on the other side sparkles and shines. On both sides of the set hang various stringed instruments, which the various actors play throughout the show.

For fans of musical theater, the show’s format feels more like a dinner show or concert. The gang is led primarily by Jim (Joshua Carter), but there’s plenty of audience interaction and participation from each cast members. Many of the songs reference familiar country and pop-rock tunes of the ’50s and ’60s, and the lyrics are satirical, creative, and at times, a bit ridiculous. You can’t help but laugh throughout a melancholy ballad concerning “Catfish.”

While there isn’t much of a story, the multi-talented cast keeps you on the edge of your seat. Not only are they some of the best singers I’ve heard in the Northwest, but they’re some of the best guitar shredding, bass playing, piano pounding performers as well. All of the show’s music is played by those on stage, and the cast gets up to some impressive “stunts” with their instruments. I’m dying to tell you all about their crazy antics, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise!

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