Stemming off the suggestion of The Secret Garden, “You Don’t Gnome Me” was chosen as the title for their musical. Set in Old Lady Josephine’s enchanted pumpkin patch, the musical came to life with an array of diverse and interesting characters. Gnomish, the Gnome King played by Neil Kuefler, could rule over his people, but he couldn’t stop his daughter’s wandering heart. Claire, Gnomish’s daughter, played by Katie Hudson, fell in love with Larry, an ordinary late night pumpkin security guard, thus building the story for this classic romantic tale of forbidden love.
Some highlights from the show were all the mention of nonsensical magical Gnome folklore and the many subtle sexual innuendos. Darla, played by Nathania Bernabe, was the Gnome queen and constantly hinted at their tumultuous sex life. Gnomish’s character was a ton of fun to watch and his deep southern accents really got the audience going. His constant offstage bickering with his daughter was hilarious. Bryon Martin, the director of the show, got to light up the new sign he build for the show. It looked fantastic! My favorite part was when Katie’s character had to train a Hippogriff with a hip hop dance break. The show stopping title song, mainly created by Larry, David Johnston, was “All Roads Lead to Gnome.”
Rupert, played by Dallas Friesen, served as comic relief with his constant shotgun cocking and big lug attitude. His backwards mentality and stubbornness made for a comical villain. We saw him gun down Old Lady Josephine’s beloved parrot “cuz it was gunna kill us!” His best line was, “Now take these dandelions. I picked them for you, they’re purty like your eyes.”
Sarah Ormandy belted out as Old Lady Josephine first about her desperate wish for company and later for blood! After she discovers that the gnomes in her yard are alive, Lady Josephine is elated to have company. Later on this hilarious grandma convinces the gnomes to hunt down Larry to feed him to her pumpkins.
This season Byron Martin hopes to “always keep raising the bar in terms of storytelling and what we are capable of” to continuously build on the artistry of the show. Erik Mortimer, the musical director and piano accompaniment is “really excited for this season and is very proud of the group.
On Friday, the audience roared with laughter and left satisfied with an overall great show. So be sure to check out The 11 O’Clock Number every Friday at the Varscona Theater!