Every summer, Broadway Rose produces professional musical theater out of Tigard's Deb Fennell Auditorium (though they're soon to move to a space of their own year round). On the afternoon I saw their current production of Nite Club Confidential I was the youngest person in the audience by approximately 114 years, but the oldsters and I had quite a time.
Nite Club Confidential is a tawdry, noir-inspired nightclub revue, a collection of classic songs strung together with the loosest of plots. Buck Holden (Chris Crouch) is a conniving musician-turned-agent-turned-club-owner who harnesses himself to more talented performers once it becomes clear he lacks the chops to make it on his own. Buck becomes involved with hot-ticket Kay Goodman (Cherie Price), until he ditches Kay for a younger singer, Dorothy. When Buck finally purchases a club of his own, he books both women as headliners, creating a volatile love triangle that ultimately ends in tragedy. This plot hardly matters, though—Nite Club is all about the musical numbers, familiar old-timey standards like "That Old Black Magic" and "Something's Gotta Give," brought to life under Abe Reybold's dynamic direction.
The highlight of the production is handily Sara Catherine Wheatley as Dorothy—she's completely captivating as a "homely girl" who ditches her glasses, gets a new hairdo, and claws her way to fame. Cherie Price, meanwhile, is dismayingly flat in the show's early scenes, but she redeems herself admirably in the play's second act, when Kay spirals into bitterness and drunken despair. (It's a backhanded compliment to say that Price plays a washed-up has-been far more convincingly than a hot-shit starlet, but it must be said nonetheless.)
Nite Club Confidential is a musical from start to finish, with all the hammy, over-the-top energy that so often characterizes the genre. As long as one can tolerate a certain level of camp, this is a great show: surprisingly funny, well choreographed, and well performed by a talented ensemble.