Spring Brings Out That Lovin' Feelin'
Review by independent reviewer Melanie Nelson
That Lovin’ Feelin’, a musical based on the lives of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield of The Righteous Brothers, is playing at St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre located in the Hudson House Grand Hotel, Hudson, WI.
Two years after the world premiere of Righteous! The Story of The Righteous Brothers, the brothers are back with That Lovin’ Feelin’, a fresher script thanks to revisions from feedback coast to coast. Not only did playwright and director Jim Zimmerman dive deeper into the struggles these two young white boys had breaking out into R&B in this new script, he also dove deeper into the amazing relationship these two performers had for more than forty years.
If you saw it the first time around, you’ll be happy to hear that many of the original gang is back! Greg Lund reprises the role of Bill Medley and Joe Keith the role of Bobby Hatfield. These two men hit the mark when it comes to the notes, the feel, and the passion of The Righteous Brothers.
When Keith belts out “I need your love…” in the song “I’m So Lonely,” you swear this guy really needs it. His heart and soul (hence your heart and soul in the audience) are poured into song after song. One of the new numbers added in early on in the show is “Georgia on My Mind.” Lund finds those low notes and moves them flawlessly through the melody line. What a great song to add to the show!
Through the production we watch an older Medley, played by Leon Hammer, sharing stories about himself and Hatfield with a journalist (Brittany Oberstadt) seeking an interview before a performance. At first he carefully sidesteps questions that could open up old wounds from struggles in The Righteous Brothers’ tenuous relationship. Eventually he does let us in on their breakups, some of his own personal struggles, and their love for each.
It takes 11 actors and 5 musicians/actors to pull off a potpourri of scenes over forty years and more than 20 hits like “Little Latin Lupe Lu,” “Justine,” and “Unchained Melody.” Music producers, wives, doctors, band members, and even an appearance by Ol’ Blue Eyes and Elvis made the cut. Fun reoccurring roles come from The Righteous Brothers’ backup singers. Their matching dresses and big personalities in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s were great each time they stepped out.
That Lovin’ Feelin’ is like a Righteous Brothers museum brought to life. It’s more than two hours in length, but you’ll wish they could keep on singing after the lights go down.
What to order? (This is one of the few dinner theatres in the nation providing wait staff-served dinner after all.) You get your choice of beef tenderloin, herb and garlic chicken, pork chop, broiled walleye, or pesto pasta. No matter what you order, make sure to save room for dessert!
The musical runs Fridays and Saturday evenings through Aug. 8 with three Thursday performances May 8, June 12, and July 31 and two noon lunch matinees on May 3 and August 9. The price of $58 includes dinner with nonalcoholic beverage, show, tip, and tax/handling fee. Noon lunch matinees are $44 with a Stay & Play package including dinner theatre with a room at the Hudson House Grand Hotel and breakfast for $176.95/couple. Get your tickets by calling 715-386-2394 ext. 333 or order them online at www.stcroixoffbroadway.com.
“ My husband and I learned about the St Croix Off Broadway production of "That Lovin' Feelin': The Story of The Righteous Brothers" being performed at the Hudson House on weekends. Because it is nearly a 4 hour drive for us, I was happy to learn they had a package for the dinner theatre and a room. The price was reasonable. The staff at the hotel was friendly. Although the hotel is older and could probably use some sound proofing, our room was clean and comfortable. Our room was on the second floor and had a nice bathroom. Everything at the dinner theatre was run smoothly - the dinner was good, and we had a table right in front of the stage. We really enjoyed the performance. And at the end of the night it was pouring rain so we were very happy to go to our room instead of having to drive anywhere. They also provided breakfast in the morning - got to order off a menu - and service was fast. It was a very nice weekend.
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St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theatre
1616 Crest View Drive, Hudson, WI 54016 Box Office: (715)386.2394 ext. 333
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