I have done a fair amount of theater work over the years but very little of it in Los Angeles. Some years ago, though, I was given the opportunity to work with director Manfred F. Kuhnert on his wonderful production of Ondine at the Powerhouse Theater in Santa Monica, and I’m so glad I did it. It was truly a fine production with a brilliant cast, beautiful set design, and a deep emotional core.
Ondine is the fabled story of a little mermaid-like creature (an ondine) who gives up her entire world, the sea, for the love of a knight named Hans. But Hans cannot be faithful, and he fails her. Their love ends in despair. This legend has been reworked many times including in Ron Howard’s great comedy, Splash. The musical requirements for this production were broad: Play the watery magic of the sea kingdom, the doomed romance with the human, Hans, and, thanks to Manfred’s vision, play the sisters of Ondine as Dreamgirls! A Los Angeles Times reviewer stated his pleasant surprise that the inclusion of glam-girl songs fit right in with the play. That was Manfred’s hope, and it was one of my most enjoyable theater experiences.
The following cue is the “Bows” of the show. I’m hunting down a good copy of the glam-girls number. The singers did a great job on it!