Last night, I had the enormous pleasure of attending the opening night of Patrick Dorow Productions' Little Shop of Horrors at The Star Theatre in Kittery. I had planned it as a surprise for my gentleman, as he has so often suggested that we sit down and watch the movie, so I walked into the initimate theatre space with no idea of what to expect, unfamiliar with both story the music, and I am so very glad that I did!
I won't give too much away, but the story introduces us to a host of memorable characters all trapped in lack-luster lives on Skid Row. Endearing Seymour, lovely Audrey, their hapless florist employer, a maniacal dentist, and more become ensnared in the plots of a wicked exotic plant, the singing, scheming Audrey II! The story is fun and original and all of the music is composed by the great Alan Menken (of Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast fame), so the material for a good show is all there to work with. That being said, it was the efforts of the cast and crew that made this particular production fantastic.
My companion and I often stole looks at each other over the astounding voices and acting ability of everyone involved. From start to finish, every movement and moment simply sang with the complete commitment of the cast to their task. Every note, both musical and non, was struck. I would go again and again simply to hear Audrey II (voiced by the magnificent Ashley Kelley and operated by Pickwick's own Cullen DeLangie) for just one moment more! Beautiful set and other production values aside, it is the the performances in this show that I will carry with me for quite some time- it will be difficult for any other cast to supplant this particular Seymour, Audrey, and crew in my heart in the future. From start to finish, I believed the sincerity of every scene and was thoroughly swept away. Intermission has never been so unwelcome!
The fun doesn't stop until February 2nd, so make sure you order your tickets. Your teenaged children (it is a bit mature for the tykes), friends, or Valentine will remember this production with fondness, as will I! One word of warning, though, except to be humming the main tune to yourself well into the springtime.
The first tune from the show!