Theatre Mirror Reviews - "ittle Shop of Horrors"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2010 by Tony Annicone

"Little Shop of Horrors"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

LaSalle Players current show is the musical "Little Shop of Horrors" which is based on the 1960 Roger Corman film. It is the story of Seymour Krelbourn, a meek Skid Row florist who makes a pact with a tiny plant to win the heart of Audrey, the girl he loves. Soon money pours in because of this strange and unusual plant, making Seymour into a celebrity. But behind the glamour and fame lies a secret Seymour can't reveal. The plant's favorite food is human blood. The plant might have a hidden agenda in this boy meets girl, plant eats world campy musical comedy set in New York in the 1950's. Director Mr. Thomas Haynes, musical director, Mr. Jeffrey Allard and choreographer, Ms. Anne Morsilli lead this cast as they sing, dance and act their way on a fun filled journey to Skid Row.

Mr. Haynes directs and blocks this show wonderfully on the two story set designed by Sean Walsh. Mr. Brouillard conducts his splendid 6 piece orchestra with Mr. Allard playing the piano. Mr. Allard taught the cast the wonderful harmonies throughout the show. Anne recreates many of the dances of the 50's. The funniest one is the tango between Seymour and Mushnik. Sean Walsh is hilarious as the nerdy,klutz Seymour. His sympathetic portrayal wins the audience over from the start of the show. His wonderful singing, dancing and acting keep you entertained all night long as he struggles to win the girl of his dreams while trying to control this monster of a plant he created.Sean's powerful voice soars in his songs including "Grow for Me", "Don't It Go to Show", "Mushnik and Son" and Suddenly Seymour". Sean will be attending Columbia University in the fall. Gabbie Whitney is wonderful as Audrey, the ditzy blonde who is in love with a semi-sadist Dentist. She is a gorgeous gal with a powerful voice which she uses in "Suddenly Seymour" with Sean as well as the beautiful, wistful and poignant ballad "Somewhere That's Green" where she wishes to escape Skid Row into an ideal sitcom type setting of a home with a chain link fence. Her comic death song tugs at your heartstrings while it keeps you in stitches with laughter. Excellent job by both leads in this show.

The three urchin girls are played by Alison Russo, Victoria Szlashta and Katrina Pavao. They are like a Greek chorus set in Brooklyn who comment on what is happening in the show with their many songs in fantastic three part harmony and their dances are reminiscent of the Supremes. These three girl's powerhouse voices are heard in "Skid Row", "Da-Doo", "Ya Never Know" and "The Meek Shall Inherit". (Justin Pires plays Mr. Bernstein, Shelby Clarke plays Mrs. Luce, Matt Smith plays Skip Snip and Molly Nocera plays a customer and they add their topnotch voices to the group numbers) They also have many funny one liners and interact beautifully with the other characters, too. Alison will be a freshman at Clark University in the fall.The multitude of gorgeous costumes are by David Cabral. Stage managers Ryan Sweeney and Logan Serabian keep things running smoothly especially the changes for each time the plant grows.The voice of the plant, "Audrey II is Sam Stone. His wonderful baritone voice sells the rollicking duet "Feed Me" with Seymour as well as in the menacing "Suppertime" where the plant wants to eat everyone in sight. As Audrey II's puppeteer is Brendan Hefner who operates the plant while it is singing, dancing or chewing up one of its victims and is quite a sight to behold. He provides many humorous moments as Audrey II. Brendan will be attending Manhattan College as a communications major in the fall. Colin Whitney is dynamite as Musnik, the flower shop owner. He mistreats Seymour until he realizes the value of the exotic plant and decides to adopt him as his son. Colin shows off his terrific voice in "Mushnik and Son" doing a hilarious tango with Sean as well as executing a few Tevye dance moves from "If I Were a Rich Man". He also dances with the girls in the opening number. His Jewish accent is topnotch, too. The sadistic dentist and girlfriend beater is played by Luke Doyle who is a hoot in the "Dentist" number which is an Elvis Presley type of song with him in jeans and dental jacket. He and the three urchins do a wonderful job as they play his backup singers. The dentist's death scene is hysterical when he can't remove the gas mask. Luke will be pursuing theatre in the fall at NYU. Justin, Shelby and Matt sing in the song "The Meek Shall Inherit". The Urchins take clippings of the plant to be sold throughout the world. Colin, Luke, Sean and Gabbie appear in the windows at the top of the two story set in "Don't Feed the Plant" song. The director also has Matt and Justin playing winos in the Downtown song. The show ends with the whole company singing "Suddenly Seymour" while the audience rewards them with a standing ovation. So be sure to catch this marvelous musical treat before Audrey II devours the world.

"Little Shop of Horrors" (12 - 15 May)
LaSALLE ACADEMY PLAYERS
@ 612 Academy Avenue, PROVIDENCE RI
1(401)351-7750 EXT 183

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