|Seymour (Joshua Carter) and the Audrey II (puppeteer: Eric Esteb, voice: Ekello Harrid Jr.) in Little Shop of Horrors, a co-production of ACT and The 5th Avenue Theatre. |
Credit: Tracy Martin
Seymour (Joshua Carter), is an awkward young flower shop employee with a crush on fellow employee, beautiful Audrey (Jessica Skerritt). He finds his "nice guy" limits tested in this hilariously twisted morality tale. It's all about his relationship with the bloodthirsty plant, who turns out to be a nightmarish version of a genie in a bottle, only this time it's a flower pot. Made of bright, plush fabric and as pretty as a child's stuffed toy, Audrey II fascinated most of us, I suspect. Against that soft and seemingly huggable exterior, its pink "lips" and shark-like teeth, set in a blood red mouth, contrasted obscenely.
|Seymour (Joshua Carter) and Orin Scrivello, DDS (David Anthony Lewis) in Little Shop of Horrors, a co-production of ACT and The 5th Avenue Theatre. |
Credit: Mark Kitaoka
|Seymour (Joshua Carter) and Audrey (Jessica Skerritt) in Little Shop of Horrors, a co-production of ACT and The 5th Avenue Theatre. |
Credit: Mark Kitaoka
There is simply no way I can give this show anything but a totally positive review. As I watched it, I shook my head over its perfection. I loved Jeff Steitzer as the grumbling flower shop owner, Mushnik, and Joshua Carter made Seymour very memorable. With Skerritt's singing and acting, you will wonder how the city of Seattle can be lucky enough to hang on to her. To the young belles of Skid Row, Ronnette (Nicole Rashida Prothro), Chiffon (Alexandria Henderson) and Crystal (Naomi Morgan) I offer two thumbs up. They were great. Last but not least, Ekello J. Harrid, Jr, as the voice of Audrey II, and Eric Esteb as the Audrey II puppeteer, deserve plenty of applause. Orchestra, lighting, costumes, makeup, all of it contributed to a huge success.
Brilliantly directed by Bill Berry, this production of A Little Shop of Horrors has a sharp edge on its sense of fun. Like the Grimm's fairy tales that left children of earlier generations wide-eyed under the covers at night, it is spellbinding entertainment that pokes at our deepest fears: loneliness, emotional and physical pain, loss of control, and a gruesome death. We can laugh at the antics of the characters, their outlandish behavior, and how they fall prey to their own weaknesses, but underneath lies the greatest fear of all, the fear that perhaps each of us really does have our price, in spite of our denial.
I don't mean to sound too serious. I laughed again and again, and I didn't dwell too long on thoughts of morality. Believe me, when caught up in the fun of one evening's hilarious fantasy, you will at least rent out your soul for a couple of hours if you don't sell it outright.
The show runs through June 15, 2014, but you'd better order tickets soon. I hear they are disappearing as quickly as Audrey II's appetizers.
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