Jenny O’Hara puts the audience under her spell as a crazy old Appalachian woman in “Broomstick” by John Biguenet currently on stage at the Fountain Theatre. This perfect Halloween treat directed by Stephen Sachs offers quite a few tricks, tricks of the light, tricks of the mind and tricks of memory.
Audience members who arrive before curtain have the marvelous opportunity to soak in the evocative and elaborate set designed by Andrew Hammer. Props and set dressing design enhance the spooky atmosphere. Reminiscent of a Disney attraction this set is deep in rich, fascinating detail.
O’Hara’s multi-layered performance in this solo show, which is completely written in verse, is fascinating. An unidentified visitor has come to call. As she converses with him, revelations about her past sorrows and secrets, childhood disappointments and her seemingly unwitting magical powers come to light. They might be true or false or somewhere in between, but for certain they are engaging, scary, funny and even poignant.
Some of the stories recalls suggest children’s fairytales, “Hansel and Gretel,” “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty” who encountered evil queens and/or witches. But her tales are not quite so simple. Is she a witch, and if so, from whence came the evil? Has she been the conduit of karmic retribution? Or has she just lost her mind? Was she really chasing a squealing suckling pig to cook for supper or could it actually been a small boy? Lots of questions leave the audience wondering.
“Broomstick” has spine-tingling effects provided by Jennifer Edwards’ lighting design and Peter Bayne’s sound design and original music. Completing the picture, Shon LeBlanc created the perfect witch ensemble for O’Hara complimented by wig work by Judy Crown.
Perfect for Halloween or for anyone who enjoys taking a journey into the deep dark woods, “Broomstick” offers a frightfully fun time at the theater that might be especially fun at night!
“Broomstick” performs 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through November 30, 2014, except Friday, October 31, when audience members are invited to “trick or treat” at the Fountain with an early curtain at 6 p.m. – come in costume! Premium tickets are available for $34, which include VIP seating in the first 3 rows, center section and free parking. Students with ID are $15. Call 323-0663-1525 or visit www.FountainTheatre.com.
The Fountain Theatre is located at 5060 Fountain Avenue (at Normandie) in Los Angeles. Secure, on-site parking is available for $5.