Eli (Jesse Keller) returns to Hannah (Wynter Connell) as she sings “Way Back Home” in ‘The Spitfire Grill.’
Hide Caption
  Shelby (Jenna VanWeelden) and Percy (Katie Kulp) sing “Colors of Paradise” in ‘The Spitfire Grill.’
Hide Caption
  Effy (Olivia Louis) collects mail for raffle from chorus members Hope Krieger and Ellen Roush in ‘The Spitfire Grill.’
Hide Caption

Review: 'Spitfire Grill' brilliantly executed by Cincinnati Christian Schools

a a a a
Share this story

Soft light glistened through leaves touched with crimson and gold, and one could almost feel the cool autumn breeze inside the theater during Cincinnati Christian Schools’ production of “The Spitfire Grill.” With radiant vocals and intricate characters, the production shifted easily from breezy tunes to heartbreaking exchanges as easily and elegantly as the changing leaves. 



“The Spitfire Grill,” a musical based on the 1996 film of the same name, features Percy, a young woman just released from a five year jail sentence. She travels to the quaint town of Gilead, Wisconsin, where Sheriff Joe sets her up with a room and job at the Spitfire Grill, the only diner in town. Hannah, the diner’s elderly owner, becomes injured and passes the responsibility of the restaurant to Percy and Hannah’s niece, Shelby. 



Cincinnati Christian Schools’ production was rooted by powerful vocals and refined relationships. Interactions between characters were realistic and varied impeccably from light-hearted and jovial to controlling and tragic. 



Katie Kulp (Percy) displayed impressive versatility, ranging from crass and abrasive to breathtakingly sincere. Kulp’s vocal control was remarkable, shifting from brassy to honeyed without wavering. Keegan Burton (Joe) was contrastingly sweet. Burton’s charming portrayal balanced well with Kulp, creating an interesting dichotomy. 



Jenna Van Weelden (Shelby) was simply stunning. VanWeelden conveyed a lovable girl next door with impressive growth throughout the musical, beginning as a quiet girl and flourishing into an independent woman. VanWeelden’s auroral voice instilled each of her songs with moving sentiment.



The set transported one into the world of Gilead. Inside of the Spitfire Grill, the counters and windows felt homey, and the chalkboard sign that changed from “no specials” to “ask about our specials” was a delightful touch. The autumn trees, each with hand painted trunk and leaves, gorgeously enveloped one into the dreamlike world of the town’s forests. 



Cincinnati Christian Schools’ production of “The Spitfire Grill” was brilliantly executed. Firm vocals and well-developed relationships matched an astounding set to truly create the town and life of Gilead, Wisconsin. As leaves begin to change colors and fall, memories of this show will grow green for many months to come.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Entertainment News
Educator: 'Game of Thrones' pic got me suspended
Educator: 'Game of Thrones' pic got me suspended

A New Jersey professor claims he was suspended over an online photo containing a quote from "Game of Thrones" that he says a school…

The Eagle serves hominy as a bar snack. Really.
The Eagle serves hominy as a bar snack. Really.

In this week's "wine me, dine me pick of the week:" Julie Niesen Gosdin bellies up to the bar and digs into "eminently…

Nutty finale for 'Scandal,' TV's craziest show
Nutty finale for 'Scandal,' TV's craziest show

"Scandal" is arguably the nuttiest show on the air. But there's a method to its madness, demonstrated every week with OMG intensity.

FDA may back off on new craft beer regulations
FDA may back off on new craft beer regulations

The FDA may be backing off from proposed changes that would have affected brewers and farmers across the nation.

HalfCut: New craft beer café opens in OTR
HalfCut: New craft beer café opens in OTR

Starting Friday, craft beer aficionados will have a new spot in Over-the-Rhine to call home.

Brewers seek to rekindle Belgium's love of beer
Brewers seek to rekindle Belgium's love of beer

The ruby lettering on the front of the old corner pub "In de Welkom" has peeled almost beyond recognition. Owner Leza Wauters, a…

Nationally-praised pizza coming to Cincinnati
Nationally-praised pizza coming to Cincinnati

The Queen City is about to be delivered an award-winning slice of pizza.

Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dead at 87
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dead at 87

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate whose intoxicating novels and short stories exposed millions outside Latin America to its…

Ever tried Russian fusion? Oasis invites you in
Ever tried Russian fusion? Oasis invites you in

Sample Samsa , taste Tabaka , and then kick up your heels on the dance floor at this eatery on Fields Ertel Road.

Does Little Flower deliver big fish fry taste?
Does Little Flower deliver big fish fry taste?

The final week of Lent finds our #FFFCincy diners back on the west side, in search of the famed Little Flower Church fish sandwich on…