Review for “Farmers Market the Musical”

By Mary Mazza Hendricks

Perfect casting for the Fairmont State University’s (FSU) Town and Gown Theatre’s production of “Farmers Market the Musical” makes the play as comical as it is enjoyable.

Written by Rob Hartmann and Katie Kring, the two-act play is on the stage at the Prickett’s Fort State Park Amphitheatre July 4-6. Shows start at 8 p.m. each evening. Reserve seats are available online at www.fairmontstate.edu/tickets or by calling the Box Office at (304) 367-4240; tickets are $13 each. For more information about Prickett’s Fort State Park, visit www.prickettsfort.org.

The Sunnyfield Township Farmers Union features characters named after the products they sell at the market. Each character cast in the world premiere of this play personifies the Candles (Liz Rossi), Peaches (Christie Brooks), and Amish Jams (Rennes Carbaugh) on sale. But it would be difficult to deny that Tyler Kovar as Chicken and Jason Young as Mr. Buffalo were the scene-stealers whenever they were on stage.

FSU Associate Professor Jeffrey Ingman directed the play for which Hartmann was the music director. Based on the true-life experiences of scriptwriter Kring, “Farmers Market the Musical” focuses on Marsha, played by Sarah R. Rowan. Marsha, who makes homemade marshmallows, immortalized in “Marshmallows Are Magic,” is trying to get her foot in the door of the market, ruled by a closed-minded board. Mr. Buffalo and his cohorts, Mr. Pork, played by Steve McElory; Mr. Sourdough (Shawn Dunn), and Mr. Mushroom (Christian Cox), insist “Ya Can’t Make a Marshmallow,” and ban her from the market.

As luck, or good playwriting, would have it, Richard Richardson, played by Brandon Lee, just happens to have a shaded, field that would serve as “A Place to Be” for the beleaguered market personnel. In addition to finding a better location for the market, Marsha also finds true love with Richard.

John O’Connor was superb as “Curds,” who regales the cast, as well as the audience, with crazy stories of that time when saved the circus, that other time when he sold cheese to the Queen of England, who invited him to Buckingham Palace, and insisted, “Old Bess was in love with me!” She almost became Mrs. Curds Number Two!

Amusing dialogue was sprinkled throughout the show, including this exchange between Peaches (Brooks) and Honey, played by Hannah Weekly. Peaches asks, “Do you talk to your bees?” Upon hearing an affirmative answer from Honey, Peaches continues, “Do they ever talk back?” Just when the audience thinks Honey has lost her mind, Honey replies, “Of course not! They were raised right!
            The songs are lively and the vocal talent of the cast was outstanding, especially the rousing, “Produce to the People.” The Farmers Market Rumble is highlighted by a clogging contest--no spoiler here! You’ll have to see the play to find out who won.

FSUNow Stories

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced that Fairmont State University was awarded an Arts Partner grant in August 2014 to support a concert featuring the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Christina Lavorata, FSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, attended a ceremony at the West Virginia State Capitol to receive the check for $7,200. The Arts Partners grant provides general operating support to long-standing, stable arts organizations.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Fairmont State University Department of Music kicks off its new Music on the Hill Guest Artist Series with a performance this week.

Dr. Janice Haworth will present the first concert of the series at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, in Wallman Hall Theatre. Her presentation will include photos and videos of life and music in Guinea, where she spent two years, as well as performances by FSU’s Percussion and World Percussion ensembles.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A new fashion brand with Marion County roots provides high-end, handmade, art-inspired products. Showcased as part of Septemberfest, Beth Keener LLC is a partnership company owned and operated by Farmont State University alumnae Beth Keener and Melissa Craig.

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