Virginya Gray
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Virginya Gray

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"Listener feedback"

-"Your music is soothing to the soul"
-"I Listened to Virginya Gray myself. It's good stuff!" - comments on myspace and cdbaby


"Don't Feed the Plants"

Reviewed by Mark Bretz

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That nefarious, giant, blood-sucking plant, Audrey II, recently returned to town in an enjoyable production of Little Shop of Horrors pleasantly performed by Flood Stage Productions.

The book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken are firmly entrenched in the '60s, both in style and execution, right down to the girl-backup trio that adds the suitable touch of humor and enjoyment to several numbers. Under Lori Gibson's clever direction, it's a two-act production of fun and light-hearted nonsense delivered with great affection for the upbeat numbers.

Seymour is a nerdy assistant in Mushnik's flower shop, curiously operated on Skid Row. Obviously, business is bad (“location, location, location”), and Mushnik is about to shut down the store and place Seymour and Audrey, the sexy and simple secretary, on the unemployment roll.

As fate would have it, though, Seymour has brought in a plant that he found, a curious and unsightly thing that he cannot identify in his books of botany. When a passerby notices the plant in the window and impulsively purchases $100 worth of roses, Mushnik sees an opportunity to revitalize his wilting florist shop.

Unfortunately, Seymour discovers that Audrey II - the moniker he has affixed to the plant in honor of his unrequited love for the secretary -- has a nasty penchant for blood, and human blood at that. After pricking his own fingers to the max, Seymour finds suitable sustenance for Audrey II in the person of Orin, Audrey's sadistic boyfriend whose depravity unexpectedly leads to his early demise.

As Audrey II grows larger and more ominous, so does Seymour's newfound fame and Mushnik's mushrooming fortune. Alas, Audrey II's insatiable appetite outpaces everything else, but not before we're treated to a bevy of good-time tunes, the best of which, "Skid Row (Downtown)", is performed early in Act One.

There's also enjoyable work by the girl group (Julie La Beau, Virginya Gray, Beth Scheiding) on DaDoo, the plaintive ballad "Somewhere That's Green" by Courtney Gibson as Audrey and "Mushnik and Son", mugged amusingly by Jim Stegemoeller and Jeff Saunders in the title roles, respectively. And Tom Kopp camps it up humorously as the deadly dentist Orin in an engaging number with the girls and Chris Porcelli as a musically motivated bum.

Bone Daddy and The Blues Shakers provide excellent musical support on the engaging and amusing numbers that are nicely choreographed by Courtney Gibson. Kopp's cozy set allows for a floral shop, some seedy backstairs into Skid Row and a dump of a hotel where the band congregates, most appropriately for a show such as this. Courtney Gibson's costume design is cute except for some bizarre choices in the closing numbers, while Stephanie Robinson's lighting is effective throughout.

Lori Gibson keeps the pace of the production matched with the light mood of the show, nicely complemented by Karla Curry's musical direction. Good performances as well by the cast, led by the quietly efficient Saunders, who was delightful a few months back in a production of "Lend Me a Tenor" and displays sound comic timing. Eeyan Richardson provides the deep bass voice of Audrey II and Bob Veatch is its capable puppeteer.

All in all, a good time was had by cast, crew and audience, ended with the admonition, “Don't feed the plants!” Wise words, indeed.

- KDHX Theatre Review


Discography

Sweet Music is the first album to be available online and in stores, before this I released a demo album and had one of my singles on a local compilation album in St. Louis titled "The Dreamer."

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Bio

Virginya Gray is one hell of a singer with a firey personality. She has not only been singing for as long as she can remember but she plays guitar, piano, and loves writing and producing her own songs. Her stage presence is like no other and the passion this young singer has for music and life in general is just so invigorating. Born in St. Louis, she started out in plays, musicals, and talent shows throughout her school career and found many inspiring musicians to help her mold and shape a sound of her own.

She doesn’t really like to label music but Miss Gray is mostly a soul singer, who does r&b, jazz, hip hop, some pop, and a little reggae. And Luckily she's had the oppertunity to perform at a wide variet of venues from musical theatre, to hip hop and R&B shows, to open mic nights. V's most recent show "Little Shop of Horrors" was performed with Floodstage productions and gave her the oppertunity to play her dream role as Chiffon, one of the soul singing Ronnetts. Virginya was also chosen to perform at the Loft for the foxy 95.5 R&B Soul Search. In addition to her performances, Miss Gray was able to release 2 of her own self produced soul albums.

Her most recent cd, “Sweet Music,” is definitely a deeper look into this young performer. And fans are hailing it as "Lyrical beauty", and "Music for the soul". V's latest show was a talent competition at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and she's currently juding "Overland Superstar," an eight week elimination singing competition. In early August Miss Gray and her crew will be shooting her first music video. And she hopes to put together a small tour as well in order to reach more audiences and bring them the joy that they give her.