By Jacqueline Bashaw, Copy Editor
“Little Shop of Horrors,” directed by Julia McCarthy ’15, took Fenwick Theater by storm last week. The musical, which first appeared in 1982 and spawned a film adaptation in 1986, discusses the lives of Mr. Mushnik and his employees, Seymour and Audrey, as they live their days on Skid Row working at a poorly-frequented flower shop. As Seymour discovers a flesh-eating plant, named Audrey II, and uses it to achieve fortune and fame, the plant grows and grows, slowly beginning to consume his blood, his life, and ultimately, his friends. Despite this darker plot, the show was lively and humorous.
The impressive and elaborate set, designed by Thomas Kehoe ’17, metamorphosed along with the lives and fortunes of its characters, as tattered wallpaper became clean and flower-covered. The most remarkable metamorphosis, however, was that of Audrey II – the mammoth plant, resembling a Venus Fly Trap, grew and shifted throughout the musical from a lively plotted plant to an overgrown monster. Operated by Benjamin Fitzgerald ’18, this plant puppet slowly evolved to consume the entire stage.
The cast was talented and energetic, equipped with expert choreography from Carly O’Brien ’17 and colorful costumes designed by Emma O’Leary ‘19. The group numbers were definitely some of the most memorable, with “Skid Row (Downtown)” and “Finale Ultimo (“Don’t Feed the Plants”) proving truly remarkable.
Among this talented ensemble, four performances particularly blew me away: Alec Davis ’17 as Orin Scrivello, D.D.S, Chris Little ’17 as Audrey II, Megan Siebecker ’20 as Audrey, and Derek Kunz ’17 as Mr. Mushkin.
Performing as Orin, the semi-sadistic dentist, Davis had a truly challenging role. He had to strike the right tone between creepy and hilarious, evil and understandable, and Davis walked this fine line expertly. His vocals were solid, his choreography was just the right amount of raunchy, and his energy was contagious.
Little delivered a truly masterful performance, providing the voice that helped bring the giant puppet of Audrey II to life. Chris’s vocals were stunning, and he sang powerfully and amusingly, bringing some much-needed soul to this formidable monster.
Siebecker was extraordinary as Audrey. She stole the show with “Somewhere That’s Green,” and she perfectly portrayed her earnest, kind-hearted character. Finally, Kunz proved a convincing Mr. Mushkin, with the mannerisms and grey hair to match. He perfectly captured Mushkin’s desperation and humor, and his costuming was perfection.
Finally, the pit band absolutely deserves recognition. Comprised of Arren Sevigny ’19 on piano, Tyler MacDonald ’18 on keyboard, Michael Veary ’18 on bass, Daniel Daley ’18 on drums, and Conor Larson ’20 on guitar, this talented crew kept the music flowing, both while accompanying the performers, and while playing such 80s hits as “Twist and Shout” before the show began.
“Little Shop of Horrors” was a total success, full of dark humor, stunning costumes, and incredible performances, and we eagerly look forward to Fenwick’s next production, “The Royal Family.”