Little Shop of Horrors
I'd seen the Broadway cast of Little Shop back in 2004 or so... Hunter Foster and Kerry Butler at the Virginia Theatre. Which, even though I LOVE both Hunter and Kerry, I didn't really enjoy the production all that much. Truth be told, I wasn't in a very good mood that night and a young boy (about 7) kept kicking my seat all night... His mother finally raised her voice to tell him to stop it... RIGHT in the middle of Kerry's "Somewhere That's Green." Needless to say, that wasn't a very good theatre experience for me (or her, probably since the whole theatre, I think, heard it...)
So, I went in to the show not having fond memories of the Broadway production... But, like everything else, I always sink into the wonderful-ness that is LA theatre once I'm there. Once the girls (Meloney Collins, Kamilah Marshall, and Fredericka Meek) came out and began the opening number, I knew this was going to be a MUCH better experience.
As much as I love Hunter (and those of you know how much I do!) Danny Gurwin really got to me as Seymour. He was just geeky enough to be believable, but cute enough to be endearing. I've seen Danny before in Little Women and really, he's got the charisma of a great leading man, in the "cute and nice guy" way. :) Sadly, Little Shop really doesn't allow the best vocals for the actor playing Seymour to shine... but I loved his performance - much more than I expected. In person, after the show he was amazingly sweet and funny! And cute as hell!
Lowe... Lowe was fabulous as Audrey! I'm totally not being biased either because I do her site or because she's a wonderful friend. What I liked about her Audrey is that she played her with such an underlying dignity. The role could easily slip into the "dumb blonde" category, but Lowe really played the role with a sincerity that really came across in her performance. Her "Somewhere That's Green" was fabulous... one of the best moments in the show.
Peter Paige was GREAT as the dentist (and everyone else!) I swear, he must've had at least 10 quick changes. :) He was VERY different from any role I'd seen him do in the past. The one thing I was wondering about was his singing... but he was great! :) And his "laughing gas" scene was far more comical and a lot less disturbing than Douglas Sills' in the Broadway version - that scene CREEPED me the hell out when I saw it in NYC. :P I was a bit fan-girly (I now regret) and asked Steve if he could introduce me to Peter after the show. I NEVER do that, but I wasn't about to introduce myself... I thought I'd keel over if I did. But he was very sweet.
Finally, I have to mention Michael A. Shepperd, because his voice was PHENOMENAL! I'd seen Michael before in Master Harold & the Boys at the Colony Theatre a while ago and he was GREAT! But that was a straight play and I'd never heard him sing before... Oh.My.Word! He began singing and I thought I went to heaven... GORGEOUS!! Absolutely amazing voice... a damn sexy baritone!! I've become an instant fan of his. At the stage door I just had to introduce myself to him (I rarely do...) because I was so in awe of his voice. And he was the nicest person... forgiving me for gushing about his voice and not remembering the name of his show at the Colony. I have to see more of his work!
Got to see Steve after the show (he asked me to give his love to Bets - which was both sweet and sad at the same time!) randomly saw Glenn Shiroma, and Justin there. :) I'm SO glad that I made it there to see the show. :) One last thing about "Little Shop" - not sure why parents bring YOUNG children to see it... I know it's a comedy and all, but some of the underlying themes (the evil-ness of greed, etc...) are pretty disturbing...
The Andrews Brothers
That night, I went to see Bets in The Andrews Brothers at Fullerton Civic Light Opera. :) It was a small cast of 4: just Bets, David Engel, Larry Raben, and Stan Chandler. :) It was nice to see Stan on stage after all this time of seeing him at shows and after shows... :)
The show itself was cute and filled with great music and lots of cute, funny moments! And in typical Roger Bean fashion, there is a lot of inter-action with the audience. :) The story was cute and funny - allowed me to see David Engel (yet again) in drag! :) Spoke with David after the show and asked about his back and he admitted that he's been doing most of his recent theatre work in heels (The Producers, La Cage, and this show) He told me he comes out and acts like he can't walk in them, but he's so used to it. :) No matter if he's wearing heels or flats, that man can dance! The first thing I was amazed with when I saw him in Never Gonna Dance is what a spectacular dancer he was. This show, even in heels, was no different! :)
Larry, after seeing him in The Producers the last time I was in town was a pleasure to see as the shy and stuttering Patrick. :) He plays the cute, meek characters the best, I think... which made him the perfect Leo Bloom. He has that cute, endearing quality to his performances that makes him so likeable on stage! :D Got to meet him after the show for the very first time... which surprises me since I'd seen him in what I thought was so many shows (when in actuality it was just Producers and Fractured Broadway). He was very sweet.
It was the first time I'd seen Stan on stage - acting. I'd seen him previously on stage at the Calphil concert that he did with Bets in 2008... but never IN a role. He was great - and really funny as the cue card reading, glasses wearing, Lawrence. One thing I did notice, though. Stan has great legs! :D
Bets was wonderful as always as Peggy. She has a way about her that really lights up the stage when she's performing. She was a blonde,... again. (There was some talk about this after the show which was cute - how she always plays blonde characters). It was WONDERFUL to see Bets after the show. In NYC, I was never alone - I was always with someone at her shows so it was so hard to just talk. It was so lovely to just be able to talk with her about things... You know, I can't say enough how much her friendship has meant to me. She's honestly the sweetest person ever.
But... on to the photos! I usually feel that bringing out my camera takes away the "I'm here as a friend" and turns it into more of a "I'm here as a fan" - but I did it anyway... because of the whole Peter Paige thing. ;)
Steve and Stuart Pankin :)
With Lowe! She was wonderful in the show!! :)
Yeeha!! Peter Paige!! :)
And of course, I needed a photo with the MEGA-talented director himself!
I hate this picture of me (I'm maybe about to blink) ;), but Danny Gurwin sure looks cute!! :)
Larry, Bets, and David. Could they be any cuter?
With David and Larry. :)
With Bets!! It was so wonderful to see her!!
This is "take 2" of this picture... she didn't want me to feel short! :D
What a fantastic weekend it was!! :) After all the recent unpleasant-ness at work, this theatre trip was really what I needed!! Thank you all so much if you read this far! I apologize for my theatre babbling... this has turned into quite the novel! :P Hope you all had a nice weekend!!