The Dramateurs staged a memorable production Sunday of Little Shop of Horrors at the Barn Playhouse just off Main Street in W. Norriton.
As a cold rain fell outside, the actors drew belly laughs from a sparse audience that left two-thirds of the playhouse empty. It’s likely many stayed away because the Eagles were playing.
Little Shop is a musical about a man-eating plant that takes over the lives of most everyone in its sphere - an imaginary flower shop somewhere on New York’s skid row. It took us back to the time when the Venus Fly Trap was controversial. Imagine that.. seems almost silly now.
The line that drew the biggest laugh came in the song “Somewhere That’s Green,” in which the Audrey, a shopgirl with a bullying boyfriend played by Brittany Adams, dreams of a life beyond the city where poverty and filth abound. She wants a house in the suburbs with some grass - “nothing fancy like Levittown.” The colloquial reference by Adams, with her wonderful New Yawk accent, brought the house down.
Montgomery County was well-represented in the cast. Seymour was played very astutely by Paul Recupero, a Woody Allen look alike who charmed his way into the affections of the lovely Audrey. Recupero is a graduate of Villanova School of Law and serves as a judicial staff attorney for Montgomery County, according to the playbill. We liked his smarmy interpretation of the role.
Mia Mbuy, who played Ronnette, is a skilled dancer and knows how to belt out a song. “In her spare time,” says the playbill, she is a seventh grade science and social studies teacher in Norristown. (Note to school district: shouldn’t some of her students see their teacher in this kid-friendly play?)
Shanna Gates, who played Crystal, also knows how to put across a song. She works in clinical research in Fort Washington.
The tickets were $17 and parking is free on the playhouse grounds at Rittenhouse Boulevard, Norristown, Pa. 19403. For information, call (610) 539-2276.
Be aware: the theater is cold. We had to leave a frail member of our party at home, although we had a third ticket. Take a lap robe, and wear warm clothing.