Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Norm in The Wave: “Little Shop” So Good, I Skipped the Beach

Here is my Wave RTC column from last Friday as the show was getting ready to close.

2015-08-28 / Community

“Little Shop” So Good, I Skipped the Beach
Memo from the RTC
By Norm Scott
I watched opening night of the Rockaway Theatre Company production of the musical sci-fi classic Little Shop of Horrors from an extreme front row right position, which was the only spot I could get to film due to the sold-out performance (my usual spot in the booth was occupied).

While I couldn’t see every part of the set, I could easily watch the audience and enjoyed their reactions as much as I enjoyed the show. It was quite gratifying, as a member of Tony Homsey’s set-building crew, to see them break out in applause when the set was revealed. And oh, the spectacular mood lighting by Andrew Woodbridge – and the music directed by Jeff Arzberger - crucial factors in creating the atmosphere.

Most people saw the 1990’s movie with Steve Martin’s memorable performance as the sadistic dentist and missed the play. Seeing it live beats the movie anytime. And John Panepinto’s performance as the dentist doesn’t take second place to Steve Martin.

The audience raved about the Urchins, played by Renee Steadman, Tenna Torres, and Janicke Steadman-Charles, three gals who could be mistaken for The Ronettes – and many of us hope we will be seeing them all again in future RTC productions.

The performance by three such powerful voices – in tandem and solo – is not to be missed. Vocals by Reanna Flemons as Audrey and Donald Gormanly as Seymour didn’t take second place, making this one of the most powerful vocal RTC productions.

RTC regular Fred Grieco as Mr. Mushnick delivers his usual professional level performance in addition to being a tasty treat for one out of control plant. And oh that plant, with master puppeteer Andrew Guzman with voice by RTC newcomer Kyle Benoit-Cartier, who uses his deep and resonant voice to make the kind of demands I often make at home when dinner is not served.

A friend from Long Island, who has become a fan of RTC productions, came with his family to the Saturday matinee and I drove over to say hello. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to get to go to the beach. I’m thinking: Being able to see RTC productions from different angles is a treat, so why not take advantage for a bit? Why not hang out for a while and see the opening from the back of the theater?

Well, a “bit” turned into an hour as I watched the entire ACT I before having to go home beachless - and I would have come back to see the evening performance if we weren’t going out. I’m going back a few times for the final four performances, which included a rare Thursday night performance. I will certainly be at the Sunday matinee closing – I never miss a cast party.

You can see a promotional video on Facebook with the cast produced by LocalTheatreNY.com (which you should subscribe to for news of community and regional theater - why pay those Broadway prices for quality theater?). I also posted the video on my blog: http://ednotesonline.- blogspot.com/2015/08/video-meet-cast-of-rtcs-little-shop-of.html.

For dates, tickets and more information call 718-374-6400.

1 comment:

  1. The show was great. My family and I loved it, especially the chorus. Thanks for inviting us!


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