The Arts

CanStage 2007 – Ashman and Menken’s Little Shop of Horrors

by Paula Citron.

In 1982, lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken wrote the musical Little Shop of Horrors based on Roger Corman’s 1960 B-movie. It has never been off the stage since. The lyrics are clever and the music is an entertaining pastiche of pop styles.

Director Ted Dykstra has made sure there are lots of laughs, while Michael Gianfrancesco’s skid row set and his puppet man-eating plant Audrey Two are brilliant. Erika Connor’s colourful costumes are 60s garish.

Ron Pederson is perfect as nerdy Seymour, Patricia Zentilli delights as victimized Audrey, Réjean Cournoyer is slimey as evil Orin, Sheldon Davis makes a good, roly-poly Mushnik, and Jeff Jones’s voice for Audrey Two is suitably scary. Jenni Burke, Starr Domingue and Michelle E. White have the harmony and the sass for the Black Girl singing group.

It is impossible not to have a good time at this show.

Little Shop of Horrors continues until Dec. 15.

From the Bluma Appel Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for The New CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.

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