Fauquier Community Theatre Little Shop of HorrorsBy Michael Clark • Oct 19th, 2010 • Category: Reviews
Fauquier Community Theatre
Fauquier Community Theatre, Warrenton, VA
Through October 31
2:15 with one intermission
$17/$15 Seniors and Students
Reviewed October 15th, 2010
Fauquier Community Theatre is opening its season with the comedy musical Little Shop of Horrors. Little Shop tells the tale of Seymour, a gardener at a run-down floral shop who discovers a strange and interesting plant during an eclipse of the sun. The plant revitalizes business for the struggling shop, but it also only thrives on human blood, which forces Seymour to find a new source of food for his plant.
This musical at Fauquier Community Theatre had significant problems with their sound system on opening night. I’ve seen several other versions of the show over the years and despite being familiar with the songs and plot, several times I couldn’t understand what was being said or sung. Songs that were slower paced, such as Audrey’s “Somewhere That’s Green” were nicely done; the simpler music didn’t strain the sound system. Visually the show was attractive, with colorful costumes and set. The Audrey II was impressive.
Tim Sampson as Seymour, the nerdy shop assistant, handled the challenge of portraying a wide range of emotions well. His puppy love for Audrey was evident as he followed her around the shop. Danielle Sanders presented Audrey as a strong woman, yet as she worried about her boyfriend Orin (Addison Hoff) you could see her struggling with concern for Orin while being relieved that he was gone. Florist Mr. Mushnik was depicted by Rick Laimbeer as a frustrated has-been, however he was still scheming as he arranged to adopt Seymour. Audrey II was brought to life in the second act by Dana Foddrell-Bland (voice) and Gail Gilbert (puppeteer). Audrey II was nearly five feet wide by five feet tall with tentacles stretching around the florist shop.
The four Doo Wop girls (Sarah LaFantasie, Nichole Naccash, Emily Hagy, and Hannah Malinowski) brought an additional dose of comedy to the show. They weren’t traditional homeless kids, but a combination annoying neighbor kid/narrator. Their costumes in the early part of the show were different plaid patterns, while later in the show they were matching dresses. The Doo Wop girls were interchangeable, yet they each carried themselves with a different amount of ease on stage. Sarah LaFantasie was most comfortable on stage, sashaying during her entrances, crosses and exits.
Musical numbers that were notable were Audrey’s “Somewhere That’s Green” and Seymour and Mushnik’s “Mushnik and Son.”
There is very little backstage space at FCT, so set designer Ted Ballard blocked off the upstage portion of the stage to allow for the dentist’s office and the Audrey II to be able to easily be moved onstage. But it didn’t feel cramped, a skillful light design by Laurel VanLandingham allowed the audience to stay focused on the action instead of what was happening elsewhere on stage. Though it would have been nice if the dentist’s office could have better hidden the walls and set dressing of the florist shop.
There were a few moments the cast broke the fourth wall and interacted with the audience. I don’t remember that happening before, but the moments fit into the overall humor and energy of the production.
In general, this was a fun show, but serious theatre-lovers will be extremely frustrated by the sound problems.
- Chiffon: Sarah LaFantasie
- Crystal: Nichole Naccash
- Ronette: Emily Hagy
- LaShonda: Hannah Malinowski
- Mushnik: Rick Liambeer
- Audrey: Danielle Sanders
- Seymour: Tim Sampson
- Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce, etc: Addison Hoff
- Audrey II (Voice): Dana Foddrell-Bland
- Audrey II (Puppeteer): Gail Gilbert
- Ensemble: Terrina Harford, Holly Tupper, Laurel VanLandingham
- Conductor & Keyboard: Yvette Wheeler
- Percussion: Jeff Briner
- Electric Bass: Chris Twig
- Guitar: Sean Rollins
- Producer: Evelyn Rice
- Director: Ted Ballard
- Musical Director: Sarah LaFantasie
- Stage Manager: Stephanie Sampson
- Choreographer: Danielle Sanders
- Set Design: Ted Ballard
- Set Construction: Ted Ballard, Tom Bohacek
- Set Painting: Nancy Daughtery
- Set Decoration/Dressing: Ted Ballard
- Special Effects: Ted Ballard
- Properties: Ted Ballard, Evelyn Rice
- Puppet Construction: Ted Ballard, Peter Fakoury
- Technical Director: Tim Kirk
- Light Design: Laurel VanLandingham
- Light Operator: Tyler Treague
- Sound Design: Anna Hawkins
- Sound Board Operator: Anna Hawkins
- Costumes: Sandra Malinowski
- Makeup: Cast
- Hair Design: Cindy Janowitz
- Stage Crew: Holly Tupper, Terrina Harford, Ben Sampson
- Program: Evelyn Rice
- Poster/Postcards: Paul Ballard
- Photography: Bryan Marsh
- Box Office: Christie Clark
- Opening Night Reception: Laurie Bersack
- Director’s Assistant: Holly Tupper
- Lighting Assistant: Ryan Landingham
Disclaimer: Fauquier Community Theatre provided a complimentary media ticket to ShowBizRadio for this review. I was a member of FCT last season, and know many of the people involved with this production.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/5724.