From a small Texas town, we journey to the past to an epic biblical story, Two By TwoNoah and the flood that was sent to destroy mankind. Based on the play, The Flowering Peach by Clifford Odest with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Martin Charnin, it reminds one of the great musicals of the 60s and 70s. The original production starred Danny Kaye as Noah. Roger DeSchepper capably assumes the role of the patriarch. As a descendant of Methuselah, he claims to be 600. God delivers his message, and Noah entreats his three sons, Shem (Gary Sooter), Ham (John Perry), and Japheth (Joel Kleber) to begin construction. Noahs wife, Esther (Karen Manley Kahler) is the peacemaker. Put Him Away, a song that reflects the familys doubts, is well done.
The voices ranged in quality with Cassie Johnson as Rachel and Kleber as Japheth performing I Do Not Know a Day beautifully. Their declaration of love inspired. DeSchepper began rather slowly. I know he portrayed a 600-year-old, but by the time the animals arrived to board the ark, he feels Ninety Again and leaps across the stage.
During intermission, the sound of rain filled the theater, and when Act II opens aboard the ark, we know that a successful voyage has neared its end. Leah (Holly Jo Hegge), Shems wife, and Goldie, the local priestess, complete the cast.
New relationships form, and as the land dries, the future looks bright. Andrea Azar, piano accompanist; Dean Weber, percussion; and Jessie Rappa, guitar/bass, provide the music of Richard Rodgers. As one theater-goer remarked, Not the best songs hes ever written.
The pairs of animals played by young people were cleverly costumed, and local churches provided the biblical garb of the rest of the cast. Definitely a family show, it plays this weekend, Feb. 18-20. Call 229-4444 for ticket information.