BWW Review: PURPLE RHYMES WITH ORANGE at Shanley
PURPLE Rhymes with ORANGE - Written and Directed by Patrick Kasper
I love attending local productions, I truly do, but what I really enjoy is seeing a show I have never seen before. If you read my reviews you will see that has happened often in the past 2 years. Every now and then I get to witness a truly amazing experience and see a locally written and produced show, and even better is to see it on his opening night and share that experience with so many others. This happened last night when I was blessed to attend the showing of Purple Rhymes With Orange at Shanley High School. This show is the labor of love from Patrick Kasper, based on a children's book that he wrote about a decade ago.
Patrick is usually known locally as one of the go to choreographers for local productions and also as the director of the Shanley High School productions. For this show he went for the quadruple threat as Writer, Director, Choreographer and Star of the show. Here is the description of the story from the press release:
PURPLE RHYMES WITH ORANGE is the fun-filled story of protagonist ORANGE who is seeking his soul mate with his friend GREY as his guide. Along the way, ORANGE meets a colorful cast of characters who fill his Tabula Rasa (empty slate) with comedy, drama, song, and dance. During the journey, we also find out that GREY has a quest of his own, and his motives may be more serious, personal and far reaching than we are first lead to believe. Can these colorful characters teach these two the important lessons of life, so they find what they are looking for? Will they discover what is truly important?
Patrick assembled an all-star cast for his show with so many familiar faces to local theatre fans.
Patrick Kasper plays GREY wonderfully, its almost as if the character was written for him... We obviously get to see Patrick showing off his dance skills including a very cool tap dancing number with his protege Mateo Leslie. We are also lucky to hear his singing and rapping skills on many songs including Empty, Tabula Rasa, Upstage/Downstage, Let The Grey be the Propaganda, Lost Children and Grey Really Matters.
Dillon Spurlin as ORANGE, who recently play Anthony in the FMCT production of Sweeney Todd and also Jesus Christ in the FMCT production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Dillon is an amazing talent and was a great pick as the character that GREY decides to help find his soulmate. Dillon really shines on Empty (also playing guitar), Every Morning, Let The Grey be the Propaganda, Lost Children and Meet Me in the Blue. The onstage chemistry between Patrick and Dillon is wonderful.
Next Up we have Randy Taylor as BROWN. Randy was recently seen as Judas in the FMCT production of Jesus Christ Superstar. BROWN was such a funny and likable character. Featuring a thick and over the top Fargo/Canadian accent he was nonstop laughs in his scene with ORANGE and GREY. We got to hear Randy featured on Lumerjacks (One of my favorite songs of the show) and also as a completely different character in the song Pump It Up.
Becca Koerner as YELLOW, who I recently saw in the Shanley production of 12 Incompetent Jurors, was a very fun character and she did a beautiful job on the song Every Morning.
Drake Aasen as RED was absolutely hilarious as the character who did not know how to rhyme. Drake was recently seen as Joe Hardy in the West Fargo High production of Damn Yankees. This is also not Drake's first go around with a locally written and produced show after his portrayal of Danny Jones in the show Weather The Storm. Drake was featured on the song R.E.D. (Another of my favorites of the night) And I was laughing the whole time.
Next up we have Emily Durow and Chris Taylor as WHITE and BLACK respectively. These two over the top characters showing off their love of theatre and rock n roll were so good on the song Upstage/Downstage.
Sam Davis as PURPLE was one of the narrators of the story. Sam has a absolutely beautiful voice that we get to hear on CSG, Purple Song, Lost Children and Meet Me In The Blue.
Katie Spokely as GREEN, coming off of her starring role as Sophie in the FMCT production of Mamma Mia! Sophie is another super talented performer who gets to shine on Charge$Charge$Charge.
Karin Rudd as BLUE is the other narrator of the show. Karin doesn't really get any featured solos but as you will find out her character is one of the most important in the show.
I also need to be sure to mention Clara Meline and her surprise character that helps tie the whole story together.
I also better mention the amazing ensemble cast featuring some amazing singes and dancers.
This whole production is so good. Patrick should be beyond proud of not only himself but the whole cast and crew. I feel blessed to have been one of the few (not really few because it was pretty packed in the theatre) who got to see the first run of this show. I really can't wait to see it again at sometime in the near future. At this time this is the only performance, but Patrick does plan to polish it up, although it doesn't need much polishing, and do many more showings in the future.
When you see this show advertised do yourself a favor and go see it.
Congrats again to everyone involved and a HUGE congratulations and Thank You to Patrick Kasper for sharing this beautiful story with the world.
***Photo Credits - Robby Njos