By: Diya Ramesh, Eastern Regional High School
FRANKLINVILLE, N.J. — Exotic plants will haunt you in your nightmares after watching Delsea Regional High School‘s mystical production of Little Shop of Horrors.
Little Shop of Horrors was composed by Howard Ashman. The musical made its Broadway debut in 2003, but was removed after a short time in 2004. By the time the original show closed, Little Shop was the third longest running musical and the highest grossing production in Off-Broadway history. The show features a flower shop worker, Seymour, who yearns to date his co-worker Audrey. He discovers an exotic plant, and quickly learns it feeds on human blood. The plant brings business to the dying shop, so Seymour is left with an ethical dilemma: Should he keep feeding the plant human flesh and blood to become successful and rich enough for Audrey?
The energy of the performers on stage created a realistic feeling to downtown Skid Row, and the pre-show set the 1960s urban city scene. The addition of vivid color to the gray toned set as the show developed darker themes created a thought provoking contrast and an entertaining experience for the audience. The cast also navigated the dark themes of the show, including domestic violence and death with ease.
Seymour, portrayed by Vincent Crocilla, gave strong facial expressions and physicality to his nerdy character. His emotions clearly shined in his facial expressions, and the audience could truly feel what he was feeling in every moment. His chemistry with Audrey, portrayed by Lola Gaudio, made the gut wrenching scenes pertaining to Audrey’s negative self image all the more impactful. Orin, played by Lamar Bronson, had the audience cackling at his every line, particularly through his show-stopping number “Be A Dentist.”
The audience’s eyes were constantly drawn to one of “The Girls,” Crystal, played by Leila Parker. Her killer vocals and vibrato echoed throughout the theater, and her dance steps never missed a beat. Andi Dennis, who portrayed Mushnik, truly captured the fatherly yet authoritative energy of the character. Ire Johnson was able to characterize the menacing quality of Audrey II solely through his voice.
The detailed set, through its forward and backwards movements, changed the perspective of each scene with ease. The graffiti walls and dumpster on the right and left sides of the stage created the perfect environment for Skid Row. In the numbers “Git It” and “You Never Know,” the creativity team who orchestrated the puppeteering shined, and the plant truly felt alive. The creative team and art crew also embellished each small detail, from the clocks displaying the correct time of each scene to the swapping of dull to vibrant flowers in the shop.
Delsea Regional High School’s production of Little Shop of Horrors transported the audience downtown to Skid Row, where they experienced a gruesome, heart throbbing, rollercoaster of a show.
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