The Taffettas at Derby Dinner Playhouse

By Victoria Moon

By You have to hand it to those guys over at the Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville, Indiana: they know their audience.

On Thursday, February 26, "The Taffetas" opened at the Playhouse to a packed audience, all of whom were obviously enjoying their trip back to the 1950's. The musical revue, which featured the talents of Sandra Simpson as Kaye, Melissa Combs as Donna, Janet Essenpreis as Peggy and Bridget Thomas as Cheryl, was packed with more than forty hits from the Fifties and early Sixties and was a perfect match to its primarily more mature audience.

"The Taffetas" connects its many songs with the storyline of four sisters, The Taffetas, debuting on "Spotlight On Music", a national television show that just so happens to feature Ed Sullivan in the audience that evening. Kaye, Donna, Peggy and Cheryl sing their naive, innocent hearts out, hoping to attract the attention of Mr. Sullivan and go on to fame and fortune far beyond their original home of Muncie, Indiana.

All the women in this show were well-suited to their roles, and no one could criticize their musical talents or sweet Fifties-style harmonies. While some of the show's one-liners seemed a bit tired in these jaded Nineties, they again seemed to fit the naivete of the show and the show's audience well.

The Taffetas were ably backed by pianist Bill Cocoran, drummer Darreyl Cotton and bassist Mark McCulloch, all three of whom were standout players.

While the show may be a bit tame for some viewers, it is a perfect fit for those who enjoy dinner theater.