Little Shop of Horrors Revisited 3/30

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JoizeyActor
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Little Shop of Horrors Revisited 3/30#0
Posted: 3/31/04 at 9:02pm
Hooray, last night I finally got to see LSOH for the second time. The last time I saw it was in September when the show was still in previews, so I was happy to see how the show came along.

Overall, I still love this show and the current production at the Virginia Theatre. I couldn't help but smile when the lights dimmed and that wonderful music starts with the narrator's voice setting the scene for the audience. For some reason it gets me so charged up and ready to have a good time. And LSOH, essentially, is a good time.

Well, my heart sank when a white paper dropped from the Playbill to announce that Jessice-Snow Wilson would be on for Kerry Butler. Kerry Butler is one of my favorite actresses on Broadway right now, and I loved what Kerry did with the character of Audrey, so I was very disappointed that she wouldn't be in. But I decided to give Jessica a chance. I noticed right away that Jessica had more a New York accent than Kerry did, but less of a character voice. I also thought that she played Kerry's portrayal of Audrey rather than Ellen Greene's -- which I was thankful for. Still, I felt she added her twists to make the character her own.

Jessica-Snow Wilson was a little weak vocal-wise to begin with, during "Somewhere That's Green" and she wouldn't hit the higher notes with much strength and she kind of backed off a little. I was unsure what she would be able to do with "Suddenly Seymour". Well, when it did finally come around, Jessica did just fine. She began to really belt during the song and I was so pleased that she did. I then considered the fact that maybe she didn't want to belt the high notes in the other songs to save it up "Suddenly Seymour". She then showed off her vocal chords and developed the 'soulful' belty voice of Audrey. I was happy. Overall I think she did a great job considering the Understudies don't get a great deal of stage time and practice, and I was happy to have her cover Kerry Butler! Still, Kerry Butler can sing the crap out of the songs.

Hunter Foster was amazing as usual, and I think he's come a long way with Seymour and he really knows how to milk those comedic timings. I loved how intense he got towards the climax of the show during 'The Meek Shall Inherit", and he was an excellent Seymour.

I swear, Douglass Sills has gotten SO much funnier since I saw him in September, and I thought he was amazing even then. He's definitely got Orin down and his fits of laughter on stage are HIGHLY contagious. Plus, he held that "Ah-aaaaaaaaaaaay am your dentist!" for a very impressive amount of time. Just when I thought he couldn't go any long, he adjusted his dentist instrument and held it for another 15 seconds. The crowd appreciated his performance and applauded his entrance. They just loved each and every one of his characters. I wondered if he got rid of the spitting gag as well. In September he was spitting up a storm all over the first few seats, but I didn't see as much spitting this time around. Perhaps it was because I was directly in front and not from the side.

Michael-Leon Wooley was also absent for this performance, and I was VERY fortunate to hear Michael James Leslie perform the role. His voice seemed even deeper than Wooley's, if that's possible, and he added his twists to "Feed Me" to make it all the more soulful and fun. His booming presence shook the house and he's got an awesome voice. I just loved watching the little kid jump out of his seat when that deep voice rumbles from Audrey II for the first time.

The Urchins, Carla J. Hargrove, Trisha Jeffrey, and DeQuina Moore were full of energy and spunk and they sang the hell out of those songs. I had awesome seats in Row E in the very middle of the center orchestra, and I was right up close to see how amazing the notes sounded when they came from the trio. I was in awe whenever one of them would open their mouths. They also have the attitude of the Urchins down pat, and they deserve awards damnit! Go girls!

Finally, Rob Barlett was just perfect. I enjoyed him in September and enjoyed him now. He's wonderful to watch and his face turned bright red when he held his breath during "Mushnik and Son". His screams of terror when Mushnik is eaten were even more intense this time around, and he really made it gruesome.

***Next Paragraph Contains Spoilers!***
If anyone tries to get tickets for this show, aim for the center orchestra, because it was very cool to have the plant come out over the audience in the end. Last time I was on the side and didn't get to experience, but this time Audrey II was in arms reach of myself just overhead, and this one girl in front of me was terrified, especially when the sing lunges down and snaps at people. A great ending to an even greater show.
*****

So to recap: I was disappointed to have understudies at first, but they proved me wrong and allowed me to experience a slightly different show that was even better than the first time I saw it.

Great 205th performance Little Shop!
Updated On: 3/31/04 at 09:02 PM
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aspiringguy715
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re: Little Shop of Horrors Revisited 3/30#1
Posted: 3/31/04 at 9:26pm
i agree LSOH was amazing, i loved it two weeks ago
but i suggest putting a spoiler in ur post cause u told about audrey 2 coming over the audience and i know that it was one of the best parts of the show and i would hate for it to be ruined for me, so i suggest a spoiler notice
Joel: Nope. Osidius, right there, swoop and cross.
Clementine: Shut the fuck up!
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BwayTheatre11
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I am glad you had a great time! Awesome review.
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Who doesn't know about that by now?!
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well, contrary to much belief, not everyone has seen little shop of horrors, and to be courteous to those who haven't i suggest (not command, suggest) that there should be a spoiler notice
Joel: Nope. Osidius, right there, swoop and cross.
Clementine: Shut the fuck up!
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I have not seen it.
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well there are some that have not seen it and do not know about the show, but i would be dissapointed if that was given away to me, when i saw it, that moment was one of the greatest and it wouldn't have been the same if i knew about it...remember a suggestion, i dont like the negativity sometimes
Joel: Nope. Osidius, right there, swoop and cross.
Clementine: Shut the fuck up!
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I don't either, but you need to get used to it. People can change on you FAST. If you are under 18, your opinion does not matter and only like Hairspray, LSOH and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
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JoizeyActor
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I added a warning, thanks for the reminder.
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aspiringguy715
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well thats definitly sad, so we're gonna go on spoiling shows for others? that doesn't sound fair to me...anyway what do u mean by "only like Hairspray, LSOH, and TMM"
Joel: Nope. Osidius, right there, swoop and cross.
Clementine: Shut the fuck up!
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aspiringguy715
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thank you joizeyactor, great review on an amazing show, as for the understudy thing its great that people are giving them chances re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Little Shop of Horrors Revisited 3/30
Joel: Nope. Osidius, right there, swoop and cross.
Clementine: Shut the fuck up!
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That is according to the mature adults on the board. In other words, it is a stereotype.

I am just going to stop talking...everyone always misinterprets me!
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Wow! Your review is great JoizeyActor!! After reading all these reveiws of understudies, i am starting not to care who shows up to perform when im there in june!!! Even though it would be great to see Kerry Butler and Michael-Leon Wooley and the rest of the original cast.
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BT11, I think you're coming through loud and clear.
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I am a huge fan of the LSOH new cast recording, BUT am I the only one here that is quite dissapointed with Michael-Leon Wooley's rendition of Audrey II? His voice just doesn't fit the character of Audrey II for me. When I go see it, I hope I get the understudy for him.
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localonecrew
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i love LSOH but snow is awful! she hits so many flat notes during suddenly seymour that its painful. and her singing during Downtown is equally painful.
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What else was she in.. I remember her name somewhere else...
...this is wrong on so many levels... Diane Lane in "Must Love Dogs" "If you have poo, now is the time to fling it" -- The Monkey's from Madagascar
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RC

I have to disagree with you. I think Michael-Leon's voice is perfect for Audrey II. Just curious as to why it doesn't work for you?
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ckeaton
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who's a shrill, who, who, who???

Jessica Snow-Wilson:
Broadway: ...Forum (Philia s/b), Les MisÚrables (Eponine). City Center Encores!: Hair (Crissy). Off-Broadway: Zombie Prom (Toffee, original cast recording), I Sing, Me and Juliet. Other: Wizard of Oz/Casa Manana (Dorothy), Grease/KC Starlight (Sandy), Baby/Roundabout Readings (Lizzie), Stars in Your Eyes (original workshop). Recent NYC readings: Little Women, Heartland, Owl Creek.
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Updated On: 4/1/04 at 10:21 AM
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JoizeyActor
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I didn't notice any flats with Jessica-Snow Wilson off the top of my head, my only note was that she held back for the higher notes where Kerry Butler usually just sang them loud and clear. But like I said before, I think she came back during Suddenly Seymour because suddenly she started belting out the song towards the end, and I realized that was capable of the notes, she just wasn't putting much strength into them before. I still liked her -- My mom thought she had more of a New York accent than Kerry Butler.
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Saw LSOH for the 4th time recently and the audience response throughout the show remains overwhelmingly enthusiastic. No squirms, coughs, running to bathroom or other signs of boredom which usually accompany many of the other shows I have seen these last few seasons. This was amazing considering the number of children in the audience. The cast must be doing something right!!! I know that the cast keeps getting better and better. If you look at the April calendar on Bway.com, there are 4 sold out dates for Little Shop. Word of mouth should keep this fine production going for at least another 6 mos., no matter how they do at the Tony Award event. I wish the same for every show---jobs, jobs, jobs!
Updated On: 4/1/04 at 04:26 PM
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nystateomind04
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what exactly is a "shrill" anyway?

whatever this is, i hope saying this doesnt make me one...

i dont like micheal-leon either. i think the guy in the movie adds so much more character to the part, i love the way his voice will get high and whinny when he says something like "im starvin'!", it just cracks me up. i found micheal-leon to be boring.
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I felt that Michael Leon-Wooley suffered from what the rest of the cast was afflicted by: lack of character development. I understand that the show was put together extremely quickly; however, Mr. Zaks really should have spent more time helping his actors build characters instead of worrying about "which sight gag is going to get a bigger laugh?". Just my two cents re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: re: Little Shop of Horrors Revisited 3/30

Love,
Joshie
Updated On: 4/2/04 at 09:16 AM
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Well Craig,

I guess I just didn't like Michael Leon-Wooley's line readings on the CD. Like his "Feed Me" lines were just like "Oh the director wants me to say each Feed Me differently so here I go". Or his "More, More" line his voice would crack and stuff. Also, all that slurping that he does as the plant isn't pleasant to the ears on a CD, but might work on stage.

Like I said, this is my opinion only from the CD, I have not seen the show live yet, and he might be amazing live.
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