"Little Shop of Horrors" is a musical about a small flower shop in the skid row district of New York City in 1963.
Where is the humor in that? Well ... with lively music and an "unusual" plant growing in that shop, the situation becomes quite humorous.
Music director Erik James put together a great ensemble of musicians to take us on an unlikely journey. With James on piano, Barb Fuelberth on keyboard, Tim Schumacher playing the guitar, David Boon on bass and Gary Lambert the drums; the music flowed freely and was totally enjoyable to hear.
The cast, directed by Terry Berliner, could all sing and dance well.
Emy Blake was adorable as Audrey. Rob Doyen came through like the pro he is, in spite of a laryngitis problem. His role as the flower shop owner, Mr. Mushnik, was endearing.
Eddie Andrews portrayed Seymour, the wanna be botanist who created the plant. You just couldn't help but love him. Sam Cordes played Orin. Sam changed clothes so many times and played so many roles that I lost count. He was hilarious! His song while attired in tight black jeans and black leather motorcycle jacket was a gem.
Now ... about that plant. This growing thing was affectionately called Audrey II. A huge bravo goes out to the scenic designer Brandon PT Davis. This ugly piece of vegetation grew before our eyes. The people who had to operate the largest version of Audrey II were Ty Carter and Savannah Bell. They were right on and didn't appear to miss any cues. Watching Audrey II grow and operate was worth the price of the ticket alone.
The set was well done. I chuckled at the misspelling of restaurant on the building that housed the band. After all, this was skid row! The costumes, created by Cami Huebert, were colorful and zany.
The supporting cast included: Heidi Womelsdorf, Hephzibah Eniade, Elyse Bertani, Kat Amundson, Xandra Prestia-Turner, Kyle Delaney and Melanie Bosley. They all added color to the story and their singing talents added much to the production.
Kudos to Joe Ardizzone. When Audrey II became large enough to talk, Joe was the voice. While we didn't see him, he was very effective.
When you put a talented cast, well-written music, Audrey II and a great band together; you achieve a highly successful musical production. "Little Shop of Horrors" is one of those successes.
The final curtain shuts on Okoboji Summer Theatre for the 2014 season on Sunday night with "Little Shop's" final performance. It has been a good summer with many memories. I look forward to the 2015 season and wish everyone at OST a good winter. See you next summer!