The energy and enthusiasm of the cast on the opening night of Adelaide Youth Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors was exciting and infectious.
From the performers to the audience, everyone enjoyed the singing, dancing, performing and watching the show. I saw the Seymour cast.
Little Shop of Horrors was based on the 1960 film by Roger Corman; book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken. It is the story of a love triangle between a narcissistic dentist and two innocents, Seymour and Audrey, set in a flower shop run by a Jewish florist based on Skid Row in America. Add in an ambitious Extra Terrestrial carnivorous plant and the fun starts! This rags and riches story of ambition, failure to success, and a story of consumerism and capitalism gone wrong, is an interesting social comment of the 1950s and 1960s, which is still relevant today.
Every time she swaggered confidently on stage or even singing in the background, Charlee Hoff (as the voice of Audrey II the greedy plant antagonist) stole the show with her throaty sexy voice, big red boots and dominating powerful presence.
Sam Cannizzaro’s Seymour was convincingly a timid, insecure and clumsy nerd, becoming more confident and expressive in his words, song and love as the musical progressed until the tragic end where he lost all that he loved.
Poor, naive Audrey was beautifully played by Daisy Jury, who had a lovely voice and portrayed a convincing blonde codependent character.
Harry Ince played the middle aged Mushnick, the Jewish florist shop owner. The highlight that the audience and I thoroughly enjoyed his Tango dance to the song “Mushnick and Son” with Seymour.
Sadistic, narcissistic dentist Orin was evilly played by Mason Pugh and we revelled in his torture and death in his own dentist chair.
He also played Mrs Luce (the wife of the editor of Life magazine, complete with blonde wig and high heels!
The “Supremes” girl trio of Amber Fibrosi as Crystal, Anita Van Der Walt as Ronette and the sexy Sharlee Vincencio as Chiffon, sang and danced as a beautiful accompaniment and sometimes the narrators and ensured good in continuity as they were on stage for most of the performance.
The other performers and ensemble were in time and in step as they complemented the leads in song and dance.
Lucy Newman’s choreography was outstanding, especially the tango as mentioned previously, also “The Supremes trio” and the ensemble dancing was well choreographed, rehearsed and co-ordinated. Greg Donhardt’s lighting design was excellent, giving wonderful effects, sometimes dark and sinister and other times bright and enlightening.
Mark Stefanoff’s musical direction was brilliant and was superb as both lead and accompaniment to the singing and dancing of the performers. My only frustration was that in Act One of Opening Night the sound of the orchestra was often louder than the singers’ voices.
I found the program was not very comprehensive – there weren’t any names on the cast photos and there was no list of songs or synopsis of the play, which made it difficult to work out the characters and actors at times, especially with 2 groups of performers.
At the end of the show in the finale, the torch lights were very effective lighting. Well done to all the producers, directors and performers for a fun, exciting show.