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
Captain America continues to win at box office
Captain America continues to win at box office

Captain America continues to vanquish box office foes, triumphing in ticket sales for the third consecutive week and dominating…

Jimmy Gibson cooks up 'food with no attitude'
Jimmy Gibson cooks up 'food with no attitude'

At the helm of his namesake eatery Jimmy G's, Gibson entered his profession for the love of food and found a foodie following in the Tri-State.

Cincy kids author turns science into adventure
Cincy kids author turns science into adventure

Many a parent and teacher have tried to bring science alive for children. Writer Mary Kay Carson aims to bring lessons to life by injecting…

Carmon DeLeone: 50 years as a Cincy conductor
Carmon DeLeone: 50 years as a Cincy conductor

Carmon DeLeone thought he would someday play French horn for a professional symphony or, perhaps, drum his way into a touring jazz combo.

Jack White records songs, releases vinyl in hour
Jack White records songs, releases vinyl in hour

Jack White played his new single for a couple of hundred fans on Record Store Day and four hours later a copy of the performance was…

Mrs. Obama to appear on episode of 'Nashville'
Mrs. Obama to appear on episode of 'Nashville'

Michelle Obama is going a little bit country.

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.