Shelby (Jenna VanWeelden) sings“Wild bird” to Percy (Katie Kulp) in 'The Spitfire Grill.'
Hide Caption
  Hannah (Wynter Connell), Shelby (Jenna VanWeelden) and Percy (Katie Kulp) share Hannah’s famous applejack in ‘The Spitfire Grill.’
Hide Caption

Review: Cincinnati Christian's 'Spitfire Grill' touches audience with heartwarming story

a a a a
Share this story

“The Spitfire Grill” may sound like the name of a new hip restaurant opening up in an up-and-coming area, but it is actually the title of a wonderful musical that Cincinnati Christian Schools just performed. It was adapted from the 1996 movie, which won the Audience Award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. 



The musical starts with a woman named Percy who has recently been released from jail. She heads to a place she thinks is heaven, (also known as) Gilead, Wisconsin. After meeting with her parole officer, he decides that the best way for her to spend her time is as an employee at the Spitfire Grill. The musical follows Percy’s journey of self-loathing and acceptance of friendship. 



Cincinnati Christian Schools’ cast of 14 thrived in many areas. Their scenery was fitting, along with uplifting music, and stage presence was had by all. The original musical is only supposed to have the leads, but in this version a chorus was added. This added depth of sound and the support that the principals needed. 



Percy, played by Katie Kulp, was a star. Her vocals were what carried the show along. She truly showed the process of redemption, as a recently released inmate. The plot of “The Spitfire Grill” is difficult and harsh, but Kulp did a remarkable job of staying true to her character. 



Wynter Connell was an inspiration to watch. Connell was wonderful as the role of Hannah, the old and feeble owner of the Spitfire Grill. One song she sang was titled “Way Back Home,” in which she longed for her missing and isolated son to find his way back home. To say that her performance was touching would be an understatement.



During each song, the entire scenery changed flawlessly. Both cast and crew were involved in the change, and they looked like naturals. The technical aspects were overall simple, but that is what the show required. There were a few lighting issues where sometimes actors were saying lines before the lights came up, but this did not take away from the show. 



The story of the Spitfire Grill is one that not many people know, but it is one that is very relatable. Cincinnati Christian Schools picked a gem of a musical and performed it well with ease. The leads were extremely talented, and had the chorus to back them up. To some, the Spitfire Grill may just be a restaurant, but to the audiences that have had the pleasure of seeing this performance, it is a way to find “The Colors of Paradise” along “These Wide Woods.”

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
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…

Top 9 things to do in Cincinnati this weekend
Top 9 things to do in Cincinnati this weekend

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? 9 On Your Side has teamed up with  CityBeat to bring you the Top 9 picks!

Make even better beer with a DIY temp controller
Make even better beer with a DIY temp controller

This weekend it is time for you to take control of your fermentation temperature with a DIY dual stage temperature controller.

VIDEO: WCPO reporter rides the Banshee
VIDEO: WCPO reporter rides the Banshee

Kings Island is set to open Friday and this year park organizers are preparing to give visitors a real scream.

'View' co-hosts to salute Barbara Walters in May
'View' co-hosts to salute Barbara Walters in May

ABC's "The View" will gather all 11 past and present co-hosts to salute Barbara Walters as she retires from daily television.