BWW Reviews: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS in Bridgeport
What better way to usher in Halloween than with the Bridgeport Theatre Company's production of Little Shop of Horrors?
Directed by Lance Gray, the show moves at a peppy pace. A quick reminder about the plot: Seymour Krelborn (Garth West) is a geeky, love struck, bespectacled orphaned young man who works at the run-down Mushnik's Skid Row Florist with the equally run down Audrey (Holly Martin) and kvetchy Mr. Mushnik (PJ Morello). During a sudden eclipse of the sun, Seymour finds an unusual plant that resembles a cross between a Venus Fly Trap and something on the children's television program, Dinosaur Train. Seymour names it Audrey II, which starts to revive after he accidentally pricks his finger on the thorn of a rose and a drop of blood falls into it. Audrey II grows and growls, "Feed me!" with Sean Sepulveda as the puppeteer and Gina Larricia providing the voice. A trio of school dropouts named Chiffon, Crystal and Ronette and Chiffon (played by Heather Abrado, Alana Cauthen and Sarah Paige Morris) serve as a Greek chorus in the play. Also appearing is John Stegmaier as Orin Scrivello, Audrey's sadist dentist boyfriend and other roles.
Stegmaier is excellent in each role he plays (dentist, passerby, corporate rep, et. al.). Abrado, Cauthen and Morris have fabulous singing voices. West, Martin and Morello make a good trio in the floral shop. Lariccia is absolutely outstanding as the voice of Audrey II, and Sepulveda is amazing lithe and strong as he operates the puppets that represent Audrey II in her various stages of growth.
Under Eli Newsom's musical direction, the book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken are still enjoyable. The play, based on the Harvey Corman film of the same name, is never dated and always fun to see. Kevin Pelkey's set design is a bit too clean looking for Skid Row, but accuracy is not the point. The set works smoothly with each scene, and the music leaps from one lively song to another in the form of show tunes, doo-wop numbers, early Motown, R&B tunes and a touch of Elvis Presley. The wigs and costumes might look a bit brash in any other production, but they accentuate the play's subtle mockery of the characters. Still, the performers make the characters likeable, even, at times, the sadistic dentist.
The show runs through September 28. Tickets are $28.00 for adults, $23.00 for seniors, and $18.00 for students. 203-576-1636. 263 Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport. BridgeportTheatre.org.
Don't miss Little Shop of Horrors. But, wait! Be sure to attend the one-night only production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience at the Bridgeport Theatre Company. It is the Rocky Horror Picture Show movie screening with a live floor show directed by Gina Lariccia at 7:00 and 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for students (with valid ID shown at the box office). Dry props are available for sale at the concession stand for $5.00. (No wet props are allowed). There is a costume contest at the 10:30 performance with prizes.