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The Andrews Sisters Harmonize Stage Door’s Sisters Of Swing

Sarah Ashley, Molly Anne Ross and Malia Nicolini as The Andrews Sisters in Sisters of Swing / Photo by Dan Kelley

Sarah Ashley, Molly Anne Ross and Malia Nicolini as The Andrews Sisters in Sisters of Swing / Photo by Dan Kelley

By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, Special to EyesOnNews.com, June 24, 2015 – Harmony. When it’s sung well, a warm visceral sense of well-being and balance missing from much of human interaction just envelops the lucky listeners.

The three actresses impersonating The Andrews Sisters in Broward Stage Door’s jukebox bio-musical Sisters of Swing don’t especially look like the real-life trio and when they sing solos, they don’t sound precisely like inimitable tones of Maxene, LaVerne or Patty.

But when Sara Ashley, Malia Nicolini and Molly Ann Ross weave those voices together into a seamless single whole, they sound as much like the original songbirds as you can hope for. Not only have they nailed the sisters’ buttermilk smooth sound, but they are proficient most of the time duplicating the tricky lightning-quick vocal syncopations.

This production and probably the property itself lacks much electricity, due in part to a lame script; it’s more a pleasant evening stroll down good ol’ Memory Lane. But it should satisfy patrons whose childhood and teenage years played out to this music.

For anyone under retirement age, The Andrews Sisters were the Destiny’s Child or Supremes of the 1930s and ‘40s – but arguably much bigger. Starting in vaudeville and inspired by the now forgotten Boswell Sisters, the trio honed a powerful yet superbly blended sound that would be copied by girl groups for decades to come. They paid their dues touring with big bands. Their recordings for Decca Records reportedly outsold anyone else’s in the 1940s except Bing Crosby’s. They cemented their popularity with uncounted appearances on live radio and 17 films. Their iconic status was achieved by touring tirelessly during and after World War II, entertaining the troops at military bases and hospitals around the world.

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