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Theater Info for the Washington DC region

British Players Snow White

By • Nov 30th, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of the British Players’ pantomime (not mime!) production of Snow White [MP3 6:37 3MB].

SnowWhite
British Players
Kensington Town Hall, Kensington, Maryland
$18/Adults; $10/Children under 12
Performances through Sunday December 9th

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio.net review of Snow White performed by the British Players in Kensington, Maryland. Mike and I saw the performance on opening night, November 29, 2007.

Mike: This was a really funny show. I had a good time watching it. The audience participation was a little slow in getting started, but people kind of warmed up to it. With an audience full of children this will be a hilarious show.

Laura: Yes, I agree it was really enjoyable. British panto is something I had not seen before and the great audience warmed up to it. The children in the audience really had a good time. The ghost scene in the second act was really a lot of fun.

Mike: This is the story of Snow White, a princess whose stepmother tries to kill her by getting her to eat a poisoned apple. There is a handsome prince who has to come rescue her. She meets seven friends in the forest. The entire story is told in the form of British Pantomime. It is not mime like Marcel Marceau style mime. This is over the top exaggerations. Some of the female parts are played by men and some of the male parts are played by women. It is just a lot of fun with audience participation and a sing a long. Some people in the audience are brought up on stage at one point. It’s like nothing you’ve seen before and I really encourage you to go see this show. The matinee performances have already been sold out. The show is a little bit long, it runs about two and a half hours long. We didn’t get out of there until about 10:30 pm. It is a little bit late for children, but have a treat for the kids and take them to go see this show.

Laura: One of my favorite actors was Dame Goodheart, the Royal Housekeeper, played by Malcolm Edwards. Dame Goodheart is a man wearing a dress. He was the comic relief and does so much ad-libbing. It was funny to watch him because you never knew what was going to come out of his mouth. Because it’s live theater, every show will be different.

Mike: He had to improv some of the comments that were thrown out from the audience. Some of the kids in the front row didn’t quite know what to say so he had to improv around their shyness. The outfits he was wearing were hilarious, very over the top. I loved his eye make-up.

Another character was Chuckles, the Court Jester. Every time she would come onto the stage she would say, “Hi, kids!”

Laura: Hi, Chuckles!

Mike: That was the right answer. If you didn’t get it right Chuckles would stop the show and teach you how to say “Hi, Chuckles.” So get it right. You need to have some energy when you go see this show. Chuckles was played by Clare Flood. She did a great job and I had a fun time watching her.

Laura: I enjoyed watching Chuckles also. She had a lot of energy. Everyone kept the British Accent which was really funny to watch. I loved Chuckles and Dame Goodheart the best because they rolled with the punches and played off of each other really well. I had a good time and laughed a lot. This was also an educational Snow White. I learned that Snow White’s name was actually Princess Millie.

Mike: Princes Millie was played by Michelle Hessel. She looked the part. Early on she was described as having long blond hair. When she made her entrance she had short black hair. She explained that away by saying that she had finally become an adult and had put aside the childish things and had gotten a nice grown up hairstyle. I liked how sweet and innocent she was especially when she was in the forest and staying at the cottage before she knew it was inhabited. She was focused on taking a nap so she had to tidy the place up first so as not to make the people who lived there mad. I liked the sweetness she brought out in that character.

Laura: Prince Michael of Tyrolia you would think of as being a male, but in this case was played by Susan Dye. She did have the short princely robe on, but was obviously a female. She did a good job. She was the stalwart prince who came to rescue the princess and love her forever. It was just really fun watching him (oops, I almost did it) her, she had some good lines and I enjoyed watching her.

Mike: Not to give anything away, but at the end there was a sword fight between Prince Michael and Queen Maligna, played by Jennifer Strand. It was a very nicely done scene. A bit over the top, but that is part of the British Panto. It was very nicely done in slow motion. the musical choices for the accompaniment of the different scenes was great. The sound effects and the music were very nicely done. The sound design was by Nick Sampson. I don’t want to give anything away, but part of the joy is hearing the music that starts up. It’s all from other musicals or movies. The people near me in the audience were giggling and singing along at times. It was a lot of fun.

Laura: The set for Snow White was really well done. The Set Designer was Albert Coia. They made good use of the stage. They would close the curtain so that they could do more fluid scene changes. The Court Jester and Dame Goodheart would come out and do a bit while they changed the set so when the curtains opened again it was all smoothly done.

Mike: All in all this was a very fun show. Kids will love it if you can have them stay up late. I think they will love this as a treat at Christmas time. The show runs about two and a half hours long with one intermission. It is playing at the Kensington Town Hall in Kensington Maryland. Thursday through Saturdays at 8. The Saturday and Sunday matinees have already sold out.

Laura: We’d like to invite you join our free mailing list, so that you can keep informed with auditions and show schedules in the Northern Virginia region..

Mike: And now, on with the show.

Cast

  • Fairy Thistledown: Joan Roseboom
  • Alonzo, The Court Chamberlain: Danny Brogan
  • Dame Goodheart, The Royal Housekeeper: Malcolm Edwards
  • Voice of the Spirit of the Mirror: Jesse Blatt
  • Queen Maligna, Ruler of Sylvania: Jennifer Strand
  • Chuckles, the Court Jester: Clare Flood
  • Princess Millie, Known as Snow White: Michelle Hessel
  • Prince Michael of Tyrolia: Susan Dye
  • Friend Champion: Lauren Kasuda
  • Friend Mouse-Ear: Callaway McCarren
  • Friend Sorrel: Ellie Miller
  • Friend Cloudberry: Sofie Scott
  • Friend Butterburr: Eva Rocke
  • Friend Coltsfoot: Olivia McCarren
  • Friend Speedwell: Lydia Kivrak

Chorus of Citizens and Couriers

  • Nan Beal, Matt Craun, Elizabeth Fiore, Blake Grobe, John Miller, Johnathan Mittaz, Kim Newball, Elspeth Nunn, Emilia O’Connor, Ray Peleg, Yolanda Richards, Jenna Simmons

Crew

  • Director: Pauline Griller-Mitchell
  • Producer: Kim Newball
  • Musical Director: Frankie Lewis
  • Assistant Director: Joan Roseboom
  • Stage Manager: Mike Lewis
  • Choreographer: Kelly Doran
  • Dance Captain: Kim Newball
  • Fight Choreographer: Brandon Mitchell
  • Assistant Stage Managers: Helen Bond, Patricia Kratzer
  • Set Design: Albert Coia
  • Lighting Design: Heather Burns, Jessie Slater
  • Master Carpenter: Nick Sampson
  • Lighting Crew Chief: Sara Kane
  • Properties: Mary Rigney
  • Costume Design: Sandy Eggleston
  • Make-up Design: Cathy Dunn
  • Wardrobe Mistress: Pat Plunkert
  • Costume Crew: Jamie Breckenridge, Paula Cook, Rich Dodenhoff, Joan Roseboom
  • Costume Crew: Anna Britton, George Krumbhaar, Frankie Lewis, Peter Nerenstone, Anna Simon
  • Sound Crew: Sara Kane, Mike Lewis
  • Stage Crew: Anna Britton, Ninotchka Pascua
  • Friends’ Dressing Room Coordinators: Teri Lazar, Andrea McCarren, Mette Scott, Abby Stavitsky, Beth Wade
  • Make up Crew: Marcia Bauman, Lisa Fiore, Clare Flood
  • Program Coordinator: Kim Newball
  • Graphic Design: J. Andrew Simmons
  • Lobby Display: Nicola Hoang
  • Technical Advisor: Ed Eggleston
  • Box Office Manager: Pat Blunkert
  • Box Office Staff: Madge Darneille, Ann Sherer
  • Front of House Coordinators: John Barclay Burns, Eileen Kent
  • Photography: J. Andrew Simmons
  • Videography: J. Andrew Simmons
  • Audition Desk: Susan Frampton, Chuck and Nicola Hoang, Sara Kane
  • Audition/Rehearsal Pianists: Dave Larko, Jimmy Mrose
  • Transportation Coordinator: Peter Nerenstone
  • Publicity and Public Relations: Marilyn Daly, Jane Hersee-Lee,Kim Newball
  • Set Construction and Painting: Marcia Bauman, Gary Beaver, Helen Bond, Anna Britton, Clare Flood, Barbara Goldhammer, Jane Hersee-Lee, John Kasuda , Osman Kivark, Frankie Lewis, Peter Nerenstone, Britt Reid, Molly Reid, Mette Scott
  • Front of House: Marcia Bauman, Sue Bogner, Lloyd Bowling, Angela Cannon, Albert Coia, Laura Cox, Mirjana Djordevic, Sue Edwards, David Esterson, Susan Frampton, Alex Fraser, Janet Gregan, Paulette Henry, Jane Hersee-Lee, Sally Hile, Nicola Hoag, Hilary Hottle, Valerie Huff, Michael Kharfen, Chrish Kresge, Margaret Lane, Gary Lee, Pat MacDonald, Dan Mitchell, Al Noerling, Sue Paisner, Guy Palace, Sherry Singer, Maggie Skekel-Sledge, Frank Sledge
  • Accompaniment Keyboard: Dave Larko, Jimmy Mrose
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

4 Responses »

  1. The reason why the many of the actors kept their accents through the whole perfomance of Snow White is because they are british- and that’s the only accent they have. Did you ever wonder why they are called the British Players?

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    Our statement about the accent wasn’t meant to be an insult, I’m hoping you didn’t take it as one. It was just one statement of something we noticed about the performance. From the BP web site: “While at the Embassy, the Players membership was restricted to primarily British and Commonwealth-born members with about 1/3 being American members. That restriction no longer applies and membership is open to all who have an interest in supporting and promoting British theatre.”

  3. Hi guys – just a clarification that while my hubby Nick Sampson did supply some sound design and equipment assistance for the show, he said the proper credit for the fun opening song should be given to the Musical Director (sorry, I don’t have his name in front of me)…

  4. It wasn’t taken as an insult. I am a member of the cast who is British, and we just do the show in out regular accents – British.
    Thanks for a great review!