Come on in! “Little Shop of Horrors” is open for business! A comedy-horror musical with music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, “Little Shop of Horrors” began its off-Broadway debut in 1982, became a massive cult-hit, was adapted into a 1986 movie of the same title, and is now performed around the world. Set in the 1960s, “Little Shop” seems to tell a story of its time, the blight of urban America and its loss of innocence, with a science-fiction, comical twist: an 'out-of-this-world,' man-eating, talking plant, Audrey II, brought down to Earth by a “total eclipse of the sun.”
Plantation High School “suddenly encountered a deadly threat to its very existence” when they chose to welcome Audrey II into their theater for their production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” With an overall talented cast, an appropriate set, and intriguingly-humorous “special effects,” Plantation's production of “Little Shop” was commendable.
In order to keep a “Little Shop” running, a production thrives off of what you feed it: gifted performers and dedication on-stage. Plantation's performance paralleled exactly what it fed its plant (performance); with the sweet, powerful vocals of Audrey (Samantha Angrisanio) combined with her hysterical portrayal of the lovable, ditsy character, the show was off to a great start. Now, combine the nutrients of Angrisanio with the importance of the water from Evan Balikos (Seymour), and just like their chemistry on-stage, their combination of nutrients serves just as great a purpose. Nutrients aren't the only aspect to helping a plant survive, you need: blood! That is where Audrey II comes in. Bradley Auguste, the voice of Audrey II, and James Graham, the handler of the puppet, worked well together to present a grizzly, hilarious, soulful Audrey II.
Without sunlight, a plant will die; but, sunlight Plantation's production had. Although some of the gleaming ensemble faces were at times dull, a few gleaming faces stood out, assisting the overall ensemble to step-up their game and provide marvelous support. One particular ensemble member that shined was a derelict who sported a red-cap; without saying any words, this derelict had the audience in an uproar with his facial expressions and comic aura.
The soil the plant is put into is just as important as the other facets, just as the set and other technical aspects are important to the livelihood of a production. The technical aspects of the Plantation's “Little Shop” were sub-par; the lighting was distracting and often too bright or too dull, the sound was scratchy and the microphones in-and-out, the stage crew could often be seen with faces of surprise and worry if something malfunctioned. However, the set was fitting and movable, the Audrey II puppet worked well, and other intricacies, such as a ticking clock were humorous and enjoyable.
Overall, Plantation's production of “Little Shop of Horrors” was healthy and alive, a good mixture of nutrients, water, BLOOD, and soil: their plant would have thrived, as their show did.
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