The Sun City Players’ production of Richard Rodgers’ “Two by Two” flips the biblical story of Noah and the ark upside down with a comic, musical twist.
“Two by Two,” which opens today at Mountain View Recreation Center Auditorium, follows Noah and his family as they embark on a journey.
On his 600th birthday, Noah receives a message from God, warning him about the impending flood. He is directed to save two of each animal and to build an ark for them.
Noah’s wife and family make fun of him as he starts to build the ark, but join in when it starts to rain.
Marie Crossley, the show’s director, said the musical is relatable to today’s audiences, even though it’s from the Bible.
“The interaction between the parents and children in this show are very much similar to what goes on now,” said Crossley. “It’s a very topical and timeless subject that I know anyone would feel they could relate to.”
Crossley, who directed “George M” with the Sun City Players, said they originally wanted to do Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” but couldn’t get the rights due to the Broadway revival national tour making a stop in Tempe.
So, Crossley read the script of “Two by Two” and listened to the music. She fell in love with the story and score.
The original Broadway production starred Danny Kaye and was nominated for two Tony Awards.
Familiar tunes include “Put Him Away,” “Two by Two,” “Something, Somewhere,” “Poppa Knows Best” and “The Convenant.”
“The music and score is absolutely gorgeous that I have no doubt people will be humming along or singing after the show is over,” Crossley said.
Bud Hesterman, who portrays Noah, said he’s had fun with the role and the production.
“When I first heard about the musical, I thought it sounded fantastic and then I read the script and that really convinced me to want to be a part of it,” said Hesterman, who has appeared in recent shows at Theater Works and Arizona Broadway Theatre.
With a show such as “Two by Two,” the set is just as important as the actors.
Set designer Don MacDonald built a multi-level set for the eight actors. But the biggest challenge has been Noah’s Ark, which hopes impresses audiences.
“It took some time to figure out how to convert a village into what would eventually be the ark for Act 2, but we did it,” MacDonald said.
More than anything, Crossley said “Two by Two” is a great show with funny and touching moments that don’t go too overboard.
“The show is really human and more so than preachy and everyone will appreciate that,” Crossley said.
Mitchell Vantrease may be reached at 623-876-2526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.