Pump Boys and Dinettes | Theater | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

If you're looking for a good time listening to righteous singin' 'n' playin', you might ought to plant yourself at the Actors Civic Theater production of Pump Boys and Dinettes. Everyone does the tunes and the words real proud. Good thing, too, 'cause there ain't much story.  

With six voices, four guitars, one banjo, one harmonica, one piano, a set of drums and some kitchen utensils to bang on, these nine folks swing, stomp and occasionally croon 20 original songs, conjuring up country, blues, boogie, rock and something akin to spirituals.

In the plot's simple framework, four men, the Pump Boys, try not to think about working at their rural North Carolina gas station. They'd rather hang out with two waitresses at The Double Cupp Diner. They josh about everyday stuff -- dating, drinking, fishing -- punctuating and setting up the musical numbers. Photograph projections underscore songs about family. Cute.    

Andy Folmer, tripling on instruments, also tap dances, exuding charming personality as a buddy named Jackson; Todd Farwell's take on shy Rolley Dunn comes across with equally convincing appeal. Director/producer James Critchfield, playing Jim, displays a fine voice which could carry across the county. 

On opening night, some intonation problems cropped up during the second act, but I'll bet they've already taken steps to iron that out. They surely have the talent to sound real good. 


PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES continues through Sun., May 29 at Father Ryan Arts Center, 420 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. 412-771-3052 or www.actorscivictheater.com

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