Review: For the Record: John Hughes at Show at Barre/Vermont


Shane Scheel and Chris Bratten have created the perfect series for our movie and celebrity driven city. With their For the Record concerts, they celebrate the music found in the films of various directors. The series began with Quentin Tarantino and was followed by John Hughes and Baz Luhrmann. Hot on the heels of the success of the Luhrmann show, they have revisited the John Hughes show with great success.

The premise is simple: a staged concert of songs mixed with dialogue found in John Hughes’ films. Which means music from The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and plenty more. And you’ll hear songs made famous by David Bowie, Simple Minds, Oingo Boingo, Kate Bush and others.

A cast of six performers (Rogelio Douglas Jr., Barrett Foa, Darren Ritchie, Tracie Thoms, Jessica Kennan Wynn, and Brenna Whitaker) sings and dances their butts off. Mr. Foa is also credited as a producer. And he is the star of the show. His takes on “Weird Science,” “Danke Schoen, “Twist and Shout,” and “Bust a Move” are highlights to be sure. Mr. Foa is quite comfortable in his own skin and he shows plenty of it, too (which isn’t a bad thing!).

Each and every cast member was in good voice during the performance I attended and all impressed.  Some of the numbers don’t land quite as well as others (“Back in Baby’s Arms,” for one) but the show is filled with so much joy and appreciation for the material that it is impossible to have a bad time. This is one of those shows where you get the sense that however much fun we as an audience are having, the cast and the band are equaling, if not exceeding, our enjoyment.

 The return of For the Record: John Hughes was an opportunity for the group to try out this new version prior to taking it to New York for two performances.  Rumor has it the show will return to L.A. later this year. In the meantime, a new For the Record show will open soon featuring music from the films of the Coen Brothers. Who knows where the series will go from here. Scorsese?  Woody Allen?  Disney with a twist? Whatever they choose, I will be there and you should, too.   


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