Unconventional musical leaves a lasting impression

Unconventional musical leaves a lasting impression

SHOW: Little Shop Of Horrors
DIRECTOR: Stephen Stead
CAST: Alan Committie, Candice van Litsenborgh, Michael Richard, Zak Hendrikz
VENUE: Theatre On The Bay until June 6
REVIEW: Peter Tromp

Not having seen even the film version of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, I had no idea of what to expect from KickstArt’s production. Not to retread the clichés, but oftentimes, not having any expectations, or even lowered expectations, is the best way to go into a show. As it happens, this ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is an absolute blast, boasting quality at almost every turn.

Director Stephen Stead gave The Next 48hOURS readers a fair indication recently of how much this unconventional musical means to him, and it doesn’t take a seasoned theatregoer to notice how much passion went into his production. As one of my mates, a novice theatregoer, but already a seasoned cynic, said on the evening, “It’s really good, isn’t it.” Yes it is, Nadine. Not only does this ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ possess charm in spades; it also has some interesting subject matter at its core, which feels particularly relevant in our media drenched age of Elliot Rogers’ and Gamergates.

That the main character, Seymour, played with gusto by Alan Committie, self-identifies as a so-called “nice guy,” but justifies to himself some pretty despicable actions along the way, would feel familiar to anyone who has spent any time on internet message boards, or a YouTube comments sections (or simply watched the news, for that matter).

The two standout performers are rubbery faced Zak Hendrikz as sadomasochistic dentist Orin Scrivello, and Candice van Litsenborgh as beat down Audrey, who has suffered a plethora of abusive boyfriends in her life, but continues to believe in the redemptive power of love. Van Litsenborgh has always been a winning presence in the supporting roles she has most often been cast in, but here she’s granted the opportunity to show her range, and does she ever take advantage of the opportunity.
Special mention must go to the builders of the props and puppets. Everything has a marvellously professional sheen to it, and it completely enhances one’s immersion in the 1950s pop culture infused world of the musical.
This one’s going to creep into your heart, so don’t miss it.

* Book at Computicket.