Little Shop of Horrors
Little Shop of Horrors
Book & lyrics by Howard Ashman, Music by Alan Menken
Directed by Scott Cook
Musical Direction by David Foust
Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival – Silver Venue
If the cold war left us with anything worthwhile it was doo-wop music and cheap sci-fi. Roll those two up and you’ll find this peppy musical which counts as the Big Main Stream Show of this year’s festival. This high energy, high production value musical can be a good starter for the novice festival goer if they aren’t ready for the drag queens and “Adult” Improv or that one show you heard had mature nude women singing show tunes. Plus you might even know the plot – Mr. Mushnik (Frank Siano) runs a shabby florist shop on skid row. Business is dying until his assistant Seymour (Kevin Cole) breeds a pushy carnivorous plant with a taste for human blood. He names it Audrey 2 after the girl of his dreams Audrey (Caroline Drage) who is in love with abusive dentist Orin Scrivillo (Casey Sweeny.) Will Seymour get the girl? Will subversive vegetation assimilate The American Way of Life? And how did the dentist get into that giant acrylic space helmet and not suffocate?
If this show isn’t edgy, at least it’s well sung. The chorus – Chiffon (Desiree Perez) Crystal (Katrina Johnson) and Ronettee (Jennifer Roman) are tight, on key and beautifully choreographed by director Cook. Audrey (one) is great ditz and bounces across the stage like a proper flirt, and Audrey 2 (voice by Jamaal Solomon, puppetry by Andrew Johnson and Christopher Homer) is sassy and street wise and every bit abusive as Sweeney’s beau. And Seymour? His high water pants and incipient acne draw your sympathy, even as he does wrong for the love of a woman who dies in a tragic gardening accident. There might be more notorious shows this year and there might be better attended shows, but this is the gold standard of production values and more than worth the price.
This commentary was prepared from a preopening rehearsal. If opening night has set pieces falling down and badly missed cues or a tragic chandelier crash that nearly kills the orchestra, well, I’m sorry I missed it.
This show is part of the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. Tickets and other information may be found at http:\\www.OrlandoFringe.org
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