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Journey of a Bombshell: The Ina Ray Hutton Story

solo performance · honey bee productions · Ages 10+ · family friendly · one person show · United States of America

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ERIC G. JOHNSON June 19, 2015
tagged as: classic · Big Band · glamorous · joyful · enlightening
I was at Fringe Central last night perusing the schedule when I was told I should check this show out. I'm glad I did! It's a wonder why Ina Ray Hutton isn't a household name, but Melissa Ritz does her part in making it so. A tight, one-woman bio-drama of Hutton's entire career brought to life with an amazing performance by Ritz. From Irving Berlin to an innocent trombonist from Omaha, she inhabits all the roles so seamlessly that you forget she's playing them all. And of equal importance, Ritz has super tapping chops and an amazing voice. I was fully transported and felt like I had spent an hour with Ina Ray Hutton herself.... full review
RICHARD GRAVES certified reviewer June 21, 2015
Melissa Ritz shines in her portrayal of Ina Ray Hutton! Hutton, who's career began at the age of 8 singing and dancing in stage revues, had a remarkable 40 plus year career in entertainment as a singer, dancer, actor, and big band conductor. She employed the unusual technique of singing and dancing while simultaneously conducting her bands, working with both all-male and all-female groups. The band often played to the rhythm of her dancing. She appeared in movies, including a starring role in a musical by Columbia, and had her own television show in Los Angeles for several years. The very existence of this play begs the question: "Why don't we know more about Ina Ray Hutton?" A good question. Melissa Ritz doesn't answer this inquiry, but d... full review
ROB STEVENS certified reviewer June 21, 2015
my review of this wonderful show is online http://www.haineshisway.com/2015/06/journey-of-a-bombshell-the-ina-ray-hutton-story-reviewed-by-rob-stevens/... full review
JORDAN YOUNG June 21, 2015
tagged as: Big Band · jazz · show biz · solo show
Want to see a terrific show about a woman way ahead of her time, performed by an actress whose skills are as stellar as her energy level is high? Catch Melissa Ritz’s one-woman show about undeservedly obscure big band era luminary and TV pioneer Ina Ray Hutton. The exposition is kept to a minimum in the well-honed script; Ritz’s acting chops are equally sharp, crisply characterizing a variety of supporting characters, notably Ina’s mother and music publisher Irving Mills, whose genius idea it was to have Ina Ray front a band. Julie Kline’s attentive direction and Tony Coppola & Shelby Kaufman’s choreography add immeasurably to Ritz’s snappy stage presence.... full review
CHARLES ZIARKO certified reviewer June 22, 2015
All I knew going in was that Ina Ray Hutton led a unique all-girl band, shortly Before My Time---but when I emerged 1-1/4 hours later, I knew (almost) All About Ina, including that she "passed for white" (a quaint 20th-century social phenomenon)! The story of Melissa Ritz would make a good solo show of its own (she's an ex-Air Force Sgt!), but she's really done her homework about Ina Ray and her solo turn is constantly compelling. Not only does she have costumes and clips (black-and-white newsreel) but she's a solid singer and dancer herself, and peppers the narrative with pop-song material of that long-ago period! Bravo to Melissa---but where was the audience she deserved? ... full review
TOMMY LEBOW certified reviewer June 23, 2015
for 1 person to do so many characters, beautiful singing voice, and tap dancing as well, multi talented! Thoroughly enjoyed the show, well done story from age 8 through adulthood, learned a lot about Ina Ray Hutton. outstanding performance from Melissa! Go see this show if you get a chance, you wont be disappointed!... full review

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