Page: 1

Little Shop @ Papermill

BroadwayPer4mer03
Stand-by
joined:2/14/04
Stand-by
joined:
2/14/04
Little Shop @ Papermill#1
Posted: 6/15/08 at 11:22am
I was filled with suprise when I left the Papermill Playhouse after attending a performance of Little Shop. The showed that played more like a Universal ride attraction on Broadway, managed to be more vibrant, delightful, and entertaining at the Papermill Playhouse, which ironically has just 22 seats less than the Virginia Theater. The spectacular opening number which starts with the three ronnetes slowly ascending out of a fog-covered and brilliantly light stage prepares the audience for an evening of exceptional entertainment. This is only reassured when the girl group/greek chorus belt their first verse of the harmonic do-wop score. For the first time in any production of Little Shop, I have seen the Ronnettes (Badia Farha, Montego Glover, and Angela Grovey) not only sing divinely but have expert comic timing and manage to develop their own distinct personalities and actually show the audience that they are friends. Soon we meet Seymour, played with adorable nerdiness by Jared Gertner who acts and sings the part with warmth and good comic timing. Stephen Berger is fantastically cast as Mushnik and is great as the aging shop owner. The sometimes throwaway number, "Mushnik and Son" manages to draw out laughs and lots of applause from the audience. Finally, we meet the sensational Jenny Fellner as Audrey who has the power to be both an animated, ditz, an 60's ingenue, and a weak, struggling woman. Her "Somewhere thats Green" is both touching and funny and her and Jared's vocals on "Suddenly Seymour" combined with the ohhs and ahhs of the Ronnettes bring down the house. Finally, we meet that oh-so important voice of the plant played by Michael James Leslie, and boy does he deliever. He has a strong, smooth bass voice but sometimes it is hard to understand what he his saying. The other villian in the story, the sadistic dentist Orin who is Audrey's boyfriend, is introduced with full on energy by Asa Somers. Somers doesnt waste one moment on stage to show his sick, creepy, and brutal obsessions with pain. His numbers "Dentist" and "Now (its just the gas)" are darkly hilarious and well staged and Somers has the audience in stiches. Mark Waldrop has set a ferocious pace for the show and it never drags or lets up. Running in at just an hour and a half, including intermission, the songs tempos, speedy set changes, and intelligent direction make the show upbeat, fully energized, and never lets up. Vince Pesce offers fun, concert-style choreography but he could have shown more variety and could have provided a bit more dance movement for smaller numbers like "Ya Never Know" and "Closed for Renovations". Another weak point is the plant which is cool and nicely operated and has human-like movements but sometimes seems a little amatuer and low budget. However, it still works and is most definitely impressive because of the excellent puppetry. Perhaps, the only thing I missed from the Broadway production was that show-stopping finale. In the Papermill Production, there is simpler staging and no, the plant does not extend to the mezzanine. However, outstanding vocals, incredible lighting/fog effects, and blasting streamers still make the number a heck of a lot of fun. The sets are wonderfully charming and extremely impressive, the flawless lighting is wonderfully splendid, and the costumes are perfect for the piece. Overall, the technical elements provide visual eye-candy but Papermill provides something the 2003 broadway production failed to produce: soaring musical numbers, a perfect cast, outstanding vocals,intelligent fast-paced direction, and most importantly heart, and soul. Go see it!

Papermill Playhouse
adamgreer Profile Photoadamgreer Profile Photo
adamgreer
Broadway Legend
joined:3/18/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/18/05
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#2
Posted: 6/15/08 at 12:12pm
I can't wait to see this production!

However, I enjoyed the Broadway revival a great deal. While I thought Hunter Foster was terribly miscast as Seymour, I loved the performances of Kerry Butler and Rob Bartlett. Their plant was great too (it was designed by the Jim Henson Creature Shop, I believe). And, the finale was awesome.
mc1227 Profile Photomc1227 Profile Photo
mc1227
Broadway Legend
joined:7/29/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/29/07
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#2
Posted: 6/15/08 at 12:33pm
I highly recommend the Paper Mill Playhouse for those who want high level regional theatre. I have seen numerous productions there that rival many Broadway productions. Little Shop was another example of that. Well done!!
The only review of a show that matters is your own.
SirNotAppearing Profile PhotoSirNotAppearing Profile Photo
SirNotAppearing
Broadway Star
joined:3/4/08
Broadway Star
joined:
3/4/08
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#3
Posted: 6/15/08 at 12:35pm
The revival was good. It just wasn't great.
jaystarr Profile Photojaystarr Profile Photo
jaystarr
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/27/05
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#4
Posted: 6/15/08 at 12:37pm
Thank you for your review! I still have to go to PAPERMILL, I haven't been there!~that's one thing that I should do...one of these days!

btw- your link is not working!

Paper Mill Playhouse
http://www.papermill.org/papermill.html

J*
into_the_woods2 Profile Photointo_the_woods2 Profile Photo
into_the_woods2
Broadway Star
joined:5/7/08
Broadway Star
joined:
5/7/08
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#5
Posted: 6/15/08 at 12:46pm
love that show...so wish i could see this production!!!
"The good news is I have an excellent Tony speech. The bad news is I've had it for forty-five years."-Elaine Stritch
jordangirl Profile Photojordangirl Profile Photo
jordangirl
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/1/06
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#6
Posted: 6/15/08 at 1:20pm
I would love to see this somehow. Is there an easy way to get to Papermill from NYC without a car?
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!
worrell4077
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/11/04
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#7
Posted: 6/15/08 at 1:59pm
The three girls in Little Shop are refered to as The Urchins, not the Ronettes. Ronette is one of the three girls.

The photos that I saw of the plant reminded me a bit of the revival's plant. I actually thought that they might be, could it be possible that they are or just based on that design?

I love this show and I'd like to see it at Paper Mill, the only show I saw at Paper Mill was a snooze fest. It was their production of Romance, Romance and the one great thing about it was that I went with a class to see it and we got to go backstage.
adamgreer Profile Photoadamgreer Profile Photo
adamgreer
Broadway Legend
joined:3/18/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/18/05
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#8
Posted: 6/15/08 at 2:04pm
"I would love to see this somehow. Is there an easy way to get to Papermill from NYC without a car?"

You can take the train right to Millburn, then walk about 5 minutes to the theater. I recommend seeing a matinee, though, because the trains run more frequently during the day.
jordangirl Profile Photojordangirl Profile Photo
jordangirl
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/1/06
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#9
Posted: 6/15/08 at 2:19pm
Thanks adamgreer. Is that NJ Transit?
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!
adamgreer Profile Photoadamgreer Profile Photo
adamgreer
Broadway Legend
joined:3/18/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/18/05
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#10
Posted: 6/15/08 at 2:33pm
Yes. It leaves from Penn Station, and is about a 30 minute trip. When you get off the train, it's a very short walk to the theater. There are directions on Papermill's website.


jordangirl Profile Photojordangirl Profile Photo
jordangirl
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
10/1/06
re: Little Shop @ Papermill#11
Posted: 6/15/08 at 2:33pm
Cool! Thanks! :)
Experience live theater. Experience paintings. Experience books. Live, look and listen like artists! ~ imaginethis
LIVE THAT LESSON!!!!!!