Small intimate show proves to be larger than life.While coming into the Rinker Playhouse, I expected an enjoyable show just not much in the way of production. However, even though the theater was much smaller, a bit stripped down when compared to the neighboring Kravis Center, there were plenty of exciting props and stage design. The topper of course was watching the human fly trap Audrey 2 grow from one scene to the next.
Still, theatrics aside, this show was a fun one with laughs generated from over-the-top physical comedy, off-the-wall lyrics and zany choreography. But, the best of the lyrics was during the heartfelt numbers Somewhere That’s Green performed by Mallory Newbrough (Beauty and The Beast, Beehive) as Audrey and the ever-popular Suddenly, Seymour performed as a duo by Newbrough and Mike Westrich (Spamalot) played by Seymour. Their chemistry was definitely a highlight of the show. But, unfortunately the roles they played showcasing the strong love they had for each other wasn’t meant to last. This was not a happily-ever-after type of story. Instead this was a story about how temptation could lead you to do some pretty disturbing things. Hitting him like a ton of bricks…or more accurately to the story like being eaten alive, Seymour once seen as a helpless do-gooder suddenly becomes a murderer. Think along the lines of the emperor in Star Wars manipulating a young Anakin Skywalker. His thirst for power (or in Seymour’s case just to be somebody worth knowing) proves to be his undoing. Both characters fall so deep into chaotic situations that rather than attempting to climb out, they continue their malicious journey.
Voicing the scene-stealing plant Audrey II, Robert Richards, Jr. (Hair) along with its manipulation by Michael Wallace, the two combine to delightfully terrorize Seymour. They seemingly treat him like a puppet on a string as the conniving plant, which consequently leads to the aforementioned path.
In the end, while there’s plenty to remember in the show from the quotable “Feed Me” of Audrey II to the welcomed backdrop and props in the intimate theater, just remember to never give in to the dark side or a trash-talking oversized plant with a hunger for blood.
Little Shop of Horrors continues its run until December 17th performing Friday through Sunday.
+ Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:30 pm
+ Wednesday and Saturday at 1:30 pm & 7:30 pm
+ Sunday at 1:30 pm
About MNM Productions’ LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS:
Bruce Linser directed LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, after helming previous MNM hits Company, The World Goes ‘Round and Side by Side by Sondheim. Paul Reekie, who has served as Musical Director for all previous MNM shows, returns in the same capacity for this production. The cast of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS includes Mike Westrich as Seymour, Mallory Newbrough as Audrey, Peter Librach as Mushnick and Jim Ballard as Orin.
Tickets to LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS are $35 and $45, and may be purchased online through the Kravis Center’s official website at kravis.org; by phone at 561.832.7469; or at the Kravis Center box office, 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach.
About MNM Productions:
This production company is the latest venture by two experienced theatrical producers and arts consultants: Marcie Gorman-Althof and Michael Lifshitz. The rising theatrical company has so far produced seven major musical productions (A Chorus Line, Side by Side by Sondheim, Hair, The World Goes ‘Round, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Company and La Cage Aux Folles), six of which received “recommended” status for Carbonell Awards; two (Side by Side by Sondheim and The World Goes ‘Round) received nominations for Best Ensemble, with the latter show winning the prestigious award. In addition, MNM Productions received The Silver Palm Awards for Outstanding New Theatre Company and Outstanding Ensemble for The World Goes ‘Round, while Paul Reekie was named Outstanding Musical Director for The World Goes ‘Round and Hair.