·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   · 

Volume 90, Issue 93

Thursday, March 20, 1997



Dracula's not the only one loving blood

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
HEY, GIVE US BACK OUR TV YOU BASTARD!!! The cast of Little Shop of Horrors watch or partake in the theft of an amazing, 14-inch television.

Little Shop of Horrors
At Talbot Theatre
March 20-22, 25-29

Do your ferns feel unflirtatious? Does your ivy look icky? Do your plants need to be perked up? Well then, head on down to Little Shop of Horrors at Talbot Theatre for some inspiring and interesting ways to save your vegetation, as well as a little entertainment.

Little Shop of Horrors is a dark musical comedy that will leave you humming the theme song for days. The play, just in case you're wondering, is the same plot as the 1986 movie starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin. However, the play does not originate from this particular film. The first version of this play was a movie directed by Roger Corman in the early '60s (starring a 20-something Jack Nicholson as the glutton for dental punishment). In 1982, Howard Ashman and Edie Cowan teamed up to create a stage version of the film and from that came the movie most of us are familiar with. Despite its tango from screen to stage to screen to stage, Little Shop maintains its witty, delightful and outright hilarious ideal wherever it is shown.

Directed by Ewan MacKintosh, Little Shop tells the story of the nerdy, yet lovable Seymour and his crass, demanding Venus fly-trap plant Audrey II. Audrey II begins as a wee little plant but grows larger and larger, not because of fertilizer or TLC, but because of red, warm delicious blood. The plant gets her name from Seymour's crush, Audrey, who works with him at Mushnik's Flower Shop. As MacKintosh says, "Seymour is caught between the vulnerable, [stupidly-charming] woman and a rude, demanding piece of vegetation."

The character of Seymour is played by Aaron Taylor. This quirky, lovable, Rick Moranis look-alike is wonderful. Although playing the geek may be bad for one's image, Taylor makes the audience love him the minute he walks on the stage. Taylor's singing is amazing, but his snapping, almost-Ed Grimley-like dancing is a comical delight to watch.

The character of Audrey (played by Lisette St. Louis) does not appear to be the Audrey the audience might be familiar with. The characterization note in the script states: "If you took Judy Holiday, Carol Channing, Marilyn Monroe and Goldie Hawn, removed their education and feelings of self-worth, dressed them up in spike heels and a low-cut black dress, and then shook them up in a test tube to extract what's sweetest and most vulnerable – that'd be Audrey." Although St. Louis is not a tall blond, she plays the dippy-yet-innocent-Audrey to a tee. Her prissy, ballerina-on-her-tippy-toes walk is mixed with a New York accent and a voice like an angel. The result: the embodiment of Audrey.

Another well-known character is Orin Scrivello (James Quigley), the psycho, girlfriend-beating, pain-driven boyfriend of Audrey. Quigley is great as the sinister dentist. His slick leather jacket and 'leather' attitude make him the prime contender to help fulfill Audrey II's lust for blood.

The music is dazzling. From the three do-wop girls to the stuffy Mr. Mushnik, the songs will capture your rhythm and you will be surprised by the musical talent showcased at Western. Another musical treat is Denise Pelley, the voice of Audrey II. Pelley performs with Orchestra London and her rough, sexy songs are definitely not to be missed.

Maybe, just maybe, the university will be convinced to feed the drama outlets a little blood in order to allow talent and productions such as Little Shop to continue to bloom.

–Carey Franklin

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997