Do you think you have a green thumb? Grab your shovel and join the cast and crew of Oyster Mill Playhouse for their production of Little Shop of Horrors. Little Shop of Horrors, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics and book by Howard Ashman, is set in Mr. Mushnik’s flower shop, where Seymour Krelborn grows a mysterious plant. This show combines horror and comedy by exploring themes of love, ambition, sacrifice and the lust for power. Don’t drive Audrey II crazy – buy your tickets for Little Shop of Horrors July 22-August 7.
The show opens with street urchins Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon introducing the audience to Mushnik’s junkyard and flower shop. Rayonna Bellamy (Chiffon), Taye Schaffner (Crystal) and Kaila MacGinnes (Ronnette) are electric on stage. Their harmonies are tight and their energy and interactions with the other characters make these kiddos engaging and utterly fun to watch.
Of course, no horror story is complete without a villain or two. In Little Shop of Horrors, there are technically three-M’s. Mushnik, the florist who treats Seymour well (even asking him to be his partner and son) only when he thinks it will benefit his business; Orin, the sadistic dentist who not only abuses nitrous oxide but also his girlfriend Audrey; and Audrey II, the carnivorous plant that seeks to dominate the world, that’s the plant. Murray J. Weed does a great job as Mr. Mushnik, making the distinction between making audiences feel sorry for the down and nearly broke florist and making them hate them for the way he treats Seymour. Weed’s performance in “Mushnik and Son” is delightful, as he performs the hilarious choreography with enthusiasm.
Scott Sealover takes on the role of Orin the dentist along with several other characters throughout the series. Sealover’s use of his expressive face is perfect for portraying the unhinged dentist, and his voice suits the role well. Sealover shows great versatility, especially when he transforms from character to character, portraying all the people trying to get Seymour to take interviews, speaking tours, and the like. in “The Meek Shall Inherit”.
It takes a team of people working in tandem to bring Audrey II to life, and Ayat Muhammad as the voice, plus puppeteers Stephanie Via, Roxanne Hennessy and Nick Otto really bring the plant to life. Muhammad’s deep, menacing voice is ideal for Audrey II. While the cast is filled with great talent, the moving, talkative giantess Audrey II steals the show.
Joseph Kemprowski and Olivia Ramsey take on the roles of Seymour and Audrey, colleagues and friends who end up exploring something more in their relationship. Both Kemprowski and Ramsey have incredible vocals with the ability to evoke strong emotions in songs like “Somewhere That’s Green” and “Suddenly Seymour.” Kemprowski and Ramsey are adorable as Seymour and Audrey, and audiences can’t help but cheer them on as they share their excitement at business success, their first kiss, and their determination to improve their lives.
Although there were a few issues on opening night and some issues with sound balance, this show, directed by Eric Mansilla with Music Director Lindy Mack, is an engaging and brilliantly staged production with a band of talented actors who bring their hearts into the performance. Remember, don’t feed the plants, buy your tickets for Little Shop of Horrors before it is too late! Visit https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2187588®id=194&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.oystermill.com%2Fthe-2022-season%2Flittle-shop-of-horrors %2F?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1 for more show and ticket information.
Photo credit: Nicole Dubé