During its 47th season, The Pumpkin Theatre presented Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, written by Jimi Kinstle, and with music directed and composed by Mandee Ferrier Roberts. Raine Bode directed this playful adaptation.
The set was a simple one, with Scenic Designer Heather Mork using the painted backdrop of a forest behind a raised platform as the main stage. The gang of dwarfs would swarm the stage for scene changes, announcing each new setting with fanfare and a handmade sign. Some prop pieces were used, such as a table and bench for the dwarf’s cottage, but for the most part, ones imagination was encouraged. The imagination was enhanced by the rest of the technical team, directed by Jamie Driskill. Lighting was used to capture mood, like a glowing red when the evil queen was angry, and Roberts kept pace on the piano. Deep, ominous notes were used while the queen was plotting, and a quick, tinkling melody played when the elves took the stage. Costume designer Wil Crowther used renaissance-style dresses and headpieces, and a fun mixture of colors, patterns, and textures for the dwarfs. I especially liked the clever costume for the Magic Mirror, who was draped in a golden cloak with matching mask. Together, the technical elements built a solid atmosphere for the actors to work with.
We all know the story of Snow White; a princess (played by Holly Gibbs) who, having fled from her murderous step mother the Queen (Courtney Proctor), finds refuge with a gang of dwarfs. In this production, it was the dwarfs who provided a tweak to the classic tale; yes, there were still seven of them, but they were a bit different than the characters we grew to know.
We have the friendly Top Notch (Derek Cooper), charming, charismatic Wink (Spike Regales), the easily-upset Crank (an energetic performance by Thom Sinn), the “fixer-upper” Edison (Erin Confair) and the contradictory Flip (Amy Greco).
However, my favorite dwarfs, in both character and performance, were those of Tommy Peter as Slo-mo and Rachel Reckling as Shakes. Peter got a lot of laughs as Slo-mo, the dwarf who was always a bit late with his entrances and the last to catch on in conversations. Reckling added a complexity and uniqueness to her role, not only through the constant fiddling and nervous movements as Shakes, but also by commonly quoting Shakespeare and having a theatrical air about her. For this show, it was the dwarfs that made it enjoyable. They would burst onto the stage in a wave of frenzy; one big flurry of chatter and movement, receiving laughs each time. I also enjoyed the disdainful, snarky performance of Elisa Dugan as the put-upon Mirror.
There were also a few songs thrown in, the most memorable being “Work Hard, Play Harder,” sung by the dwarfs. Holly Gibbs showed a lovely singing voice, and played her role as Snow White with the sweet grace that we associate with the character. Courtney Proctor is haughty and greedy as the Queen, and Anthony Scimonelli plays the huntsman as a good man thrown into an impossible situation. Overall, the actors made a nice ensemble, and the children enjoyed themselves.
Everyone at Pumpkin Theatre was very friendly and accommodating. The children were in for a fun afternoon; taking in a show and then playing together afterwards on an on-site playground. My inner child was very envious! Keep your eye out for future shows at The Pumpkin Theatre!
Running Time: Approximately one hour, without an intermission.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ended its run today on December 14, 2014 at The Pumpkin Theatre – 2905 Walnut Avenue, in Owings Mills, MD. Visit their website for information on future shows, and purchase tickets for future shows online.