The Premiere Playhouse (formerly Sioux Empire Community Theatre) had the debut of their first production under the new name, Blood Brothers, at The Belbas Theatre at the Washington Pavilion.

Blood Brothers is a musical that first debuted in London in the 80s.

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It tells the story of twin brothers separated at birth. Mickey and Edward grow up near each other and become friends, never knowing their true connection.

Blood Brothers is ultimately a nature vs. nurture story. One brother is raised by a single mother struggling with eight kids and the other is raised as an only child by a family of wealth.

Will the boys stay friends? Will they both turn out okay? Will the secret stay a secret?

The Premiere Playhouse used The Belbas theatre for this production and I think that was smart. The set was, for lack of a better word, very cool. The production included various TV screens to enhance the set including billowing smoke out of smokestacks and to view some of the action on stage better.

This production incorporated a live band that was seated up on the balcony but within view. I hadn't seen anything like that before.

The whole cast did a great job with various English accents. I suppose the fact that Director and Executive/Artistic Director, Robin Byrne is from Northern England, helped to get the accents just right.

Alexondrea Thon Vanh's portrayal of Mrs. Johnston was superb. She has a great voice and was believable as a mother stuck between a rock and hard place.

Shawn Shannon II as Mickey and Nathan Sparks as Eddie, the two separated brothers, had great chemistry. Their portrayal of seven-year-olds was delightful. And they transitioned well into their more 'adult' roles.

The Narrator, Tristan Chasing Hawk, was so good. He kind of scared me and was a little creepy, but I think that is what he was going for.

Blood Brothers reminded me a bit of Cabaret or Pippin because The Narrator is such an integral part of the storytelling.

I was also reminded of Oedipus, the Greek tragedy. Like Oedipus, Blood Brothers has an element of superstition and prophecy, that no matter what the characters do to try and stop fate, there ultimately isn't anything to be done to stop the tragedy.

On a lighter note, there was a very brief tap moment, which I appreciated. There are also a lot of fun pop culture references to The Beatles and Marilyn Monroe.

Blood Brothers Presented by The Premiere Playhouse runs through October 3rd at The Belbas Theatre. Shows are 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday.

For tickets, click here.

Keep an eye out for more from The Premiere Playhouse! A Christmas Carol opens on December 2nd with Lombardi to follow in February, Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps in March, and Cabaret to close the season in May!

The Premiere Playhouse Presents Blood Brothers


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