Jun. 21, 2011 - Issue #818: Brian Wilson
Little Shop of Horrors
This shop lacks soul
Put simply, it's a safe choice for a theatre company that's bound to be entertaining, if not inspiring. This is pretty much the case with Two ONE-WAY Tickets to Broadway Productions' staging of the show: on the whole, it was a capably delivered performance. All of the actors are accomplished vocalists who succeeded in doing justice to Little Shop's collection of '60s rock and doo-wop-inspired tunes. The plant puppetry was also very well done—Audrey II evolves in four stages from a wee head-bobbing sprout to a massive, baritone-voiced fly trap.
Though the score may be filled with soul music, however, soul is precisely what this particular production lacks. Most of the cast seemed more concerned with getting from scene to scene than with simply enjoying themselves and revelling in the sheer outlandishness of the story. Notable exceptions are Caitlin Tywoniuk (Audrey) and Victoria Trevoy (Ronette), whose eye-batting sauciness added much-needed vivacity.
There were also some fairly big issues with sound. A live band (the "Skid Row Philharmonic") filled out the score, but also tended to drown out the vocals. As well, two of the chorus girls were much quieter than the third, which created a definite imbalance in their many refrains. Sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello (Jayson Hlus) was a riot in his prolonged death-by-nitrous-oxide-helmet, but he could do well to drop a few of the overly high-pitched yelps.
Nonetheless, this was still an entertaining show and most of the faults can be fairly easily overlooked. The music is great, after all, and the tunes will be bopping through your head for days to come.
Sat, Jun 25 (7:30 pm)
Directed by Marcie Pringle
La Cité Francophone, $25.65 – $28.50 vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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