St. Albans and National Cathedral School Little Shop of HorrorsBy Cappies • Nov 17th, 2009 • Category: Cappies
Put together a cast full of vibrant characters, upbeat choreography and colorful lighting, toss in a blood-thirsty, man-eating plant, and you’ve got St. Albans and National Cathedral School’s production of Little Shop of Horrors.
The rock musical, composed by Alan Menken and written by Howard Ashman, was first a black and white, low-budget 1960’s comedy that hit off-Broadway in 1982, then Broadway in 2003. Seymour Krelborn (Lyon Stewart), a poor young orphan working in Mushnik’s Skid Row Florists Shop, one day finds a mysterious Venus Fly Trap, which then comes alive, only to be hungry for human blood. Whilst dealing with his sweet, blonde, co-employee crush Audrey, and her abusive bad-boy dentist of a boyfriend, Seymour must deal with the pressures from his fast-growing plant, who is bringing him and the business fame and fortune.
The cast of St. Albans and NCS kicked off the show from first appearance, by bringing the early 60’s rock and roll/ doo-wop style, and wowing with the group number, Skid Row. The simple choreography allowed each ensemble member to distinguish his or her own character through facial expression.
Starting off the show, Luke Taylor played the frazzled character of Mr. Munshnik with great hilarity and comedic skill. Delivering with a consistent, on-point Jewish-New Yorker accent, Taylor had the whole audience in stitches during such numbers as “Mushnik & Son.” The character of Orin Scrivello, DDS, played by Iason Togias, was one everybody loved to hate. His charming smile, and Danny Zuko-esque walk, made one forget that he was a laughing gas-addicted, violent dentist. Togias also completed the difficult task of speaking and singing inside of a gas mask, during the entertaining song, “Now (It’s Just the Gas),” with great ease.
Lyon Stewart, as Seymour, had an outstanding tenor voice with a pure tone. His braces-filled smile added to his lovable character that commanded the attention onstage. As the bubbly Audrey, Katie Green intrigued all. Green’s hurried shuffle of a run was a bold character choice that contributed to her great acting. The two leads had a brilliant chemistry that was especially noticeable during the touching, and well-known, number, “Suddenly Seymour.”
The student lighting designer, Shep Killion, did a wonderful job, contrasting colors to fit every different mood in this half-comedy, half-horror, show. Also, the House Band was always on cue, and performed the original show score with much gusto, helping all actors stay upbeat during songs.
Overall, St. Albans and NCS’s highly humorous production of Little Shop of Horrors was thoroughly enjoyable from the start, ending with an impressive, multi-vocal part blend in the finale with a strong message: “Don’t Feed the Plants!”
by Margaret Berkowitz of The Madeira School
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