Arts Club Theatre

Little Shop of Horrors

Music: Alan Menkin Lyrics and Book: Howard Ashman Based on the Film by: Roger Corman Screen Play: Charles Griffith

Director: Bill Millerd Choreographer: James Hibbard: Set and Lighting Design: Ted Roberts Costume Design: Angelina Kekich Sound Design: Chris Daniels Music Director: Bill Costin Keyboards: Bill Costin and Sasha Niechoda Drums: Buff Allen Stage Manager: Chris Allan

Venue: Granville Island Stage
Dates: 5 February - 22 March 2003

Reviewer: Jane Penistan

Little Shop of Horrors in the capable direction of Bill Millerd is a colourful, well designed, and thoroughly entertaining musical. Opening on Skid Row with the three singing sisters Crystal, Ronnette, and Chiffon cheering the dreary neighbourhood with their bright clothes, vivacious dancing and vocalizing, the show is off to a flying start.

These three, Sibel Thrasher, Lossen Chambers, and Melissa Veszi as the sisters, punctuate the whole performance, and comment on its progress as does the chorus in classical theatre. The poor little Venus flytrap plant of the dingy skid row florists flourishes and grows at an alarming rate, bringing custom and wealth with its wonder. But this is accompanied by a voracious appetite and an increasing tendency to spread itself all over the spruced up flower shop. Its enormous jaws open to show a waving tongue and to emit a deep bass voice. Science fiction and musical comedy fun make great entertainment.

Katey Wright, a talented singer and dancer, is charming and beguiling as Audrey. No wonder Seymour, the florist's assistant and owner and nurturer of the amazing plant, falls for her. In this role Duncan Stewart, somewhat earnest, is pleasantly goofy but completely lovable. Matt Palmer plays a variety of characters, his most amusing and successful being the dentist. Ken Kramer, as Mr Mushnik, is the harassed owner of the little flower shop which becomes the shop of horrors, thanks to the plant Audrey 11. What a plant! It is insatiably voracious and manages to dance with its lengthy tendrils, and open its capacious jaws in time to music. This is thanks to the skill of Rodrigues A. Williams. The demanding voice is that of Timothy E. Brummund.

The music is excitingly rhythmical and well performed, accompanying the singing and setting all the feet, both on and off stage tapping. This is a fast moving, energetic and engaging show - one for all the family to enjoy. Congratulations to Bill Millerd for this entertaining show.

© 2003, Jane Penistan