Sunday, March 13, 2016

Little Shop of Horrors The Musical

Little Shop of Horrors is one of those musicals that resonate not because I loved the movie (as it was made well before my time) but because I dipped my toes into learning all aspects of the stage of musical theatre during an 8 week course at NIDA (what on earth possessed me think I could do the Triple Threat – singing, acting and dancing!) and the number we listened to over and over again was the prelude to the Little Shop of Horrors, dissecting every bar of the music sheet each week. It was a challenging yet insightful course that makes me appreciate and have a new found respect for those who have been doing it for many years and mastered the musical theatre stage. Hats off to you!

Custom cupcakes made by Black Velvet, Sydney

I watched the Little Shop of Horrors at the small intimate Hayes Theatre in the heart of Potts Point and it was really the perfect venue for this musical. The small stage ensured I was so drawn and immersed into the storyline. The opening scene of the musical really sets the pace that you are going to have a great time for the next 2 hours or so. There are only a few days left to see this musical at the Hayes Theatre (until 19 March 2016) before it moves to the Sydney Opera House (from 18 July 2016) on a much larger stage. Its move comes due to the demand in watching this performance and it is well worth seeing.

''Little Shop of Horrors,'' is based on the low budget 1960 horror movie by Roger Corman, a Faustian musical about a timid clerk who sells his soul to a man-eating cactus, Audrey II. What was extraordinary about this musical is the puppetry of this growing plant and how the actors seamlessly interact with it, making it feel very much alive. For those who have seen King Kong when it was on in Melbourne, you will love the puppetry in this musical, whilst at a smaller scale, it didn't fail to wow the audience.

The show's hero (Brent Hill) shyly pines for a fellow florist assistant, Audrey (Esther Hannaford) his inspiration for the plant’s name. He finds a way to her heart and to success with the discovery of a bizarre new plant. The plant is green as an avocado with teeth that look like something from Jaws. Placed in the window, it quickly becomes a tourist attraction, drawing in customers to the door, and proving to the world that it will beat a path to your door if you invent a better flytrap.

This plant is on a diet of human blood plant. It grows and turns into a foul-mouthed, smooth-talking, R&B-singing carnivore. I won’t spoil the storyline anymore.

Little Shop of Horrors is a production by Luckiest Productions and Tinderbox Productions who brought us the 2014 multi award winning Sweet Charity.

Custom cupcakes made by Black Velvet, Sydney
There is excellent chemistry between the three main actors. Brent Hill stars as the unassuming, hapless flower shop worker Seymour Krelborn. Brent most recently starred in the Australian production of Once earning himself a Helpmann Award nomination. Playing the object of Seymour’s affections, Audrey, is multiple-award winner Esther Hannaford, one of Australia’s most in demand leading ladies. Esther starred as Ann Darrow in King Kong, Bonnie Mae in Miracle City and received a Helpmann Award for her role as Penny in Hairspray. The opportunistic shop owner Mr Mushnik, is played by Tyler Coppin (Strictly Ballroom, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). The role of the demon dentist and Audrey’s sadistic boyfriend is actor Scott Johnson (Tommy in Jersey Boys) whose character was an excellent comic relief.

Laced with dark humour and irresistible music, Little Shop of Horrors is one of the longest-running off Broadway shows of all time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would see it again.

Go and see it and remember, ''Don't Feed the Plants.''

See website for more details for tickets in your capital city.

Image courtesy of the Little Shop of Horrors musical production

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