The fall season of Huntington’s community theatre got its official kickoff this week as Marshall University’s Department of Theatre
presented Little Shop of Horrors
- and if you didn’t catch it, you missed a great show.
“Little Shop” is the musical horror story of a mild-manner florist named Seymour
who gains fame when he discovers an unusual plant - one with a thirst for blood. But as the plant named “Audrey II”
grows, so does Seymour’s good fortune - so he finds himself doing terrible things to keep his lucky streak going.
If it sounds grim - well, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s lighthearted, very funny and it features some wonderful songs. Oh, there are a few horrific images, but mostly it's played for fun.
Marshall’s production was also blessed with a great cast, including Nick Reynolds
as Seymour. He’s an excellent singer with perfect comedic timing - an outstanding performer. Playing his love interest, the beautiful (if somewhat ditzy) Audrey
, is Jennifer Edens
. She also has a terrific voice and turned in a great, funny performance. Jeremy Plyburn
played the part of Mushnick
, the crabby owner of the Flower Shop. He’s a top-notch character actor, and the scene where he offers to adopt Seymour (to keep him from leaving the business) was hilarious - probably the best number in the show. Sean Watkins
also provided a great comedic turn as the sadistic dentist named Orin
- he was delightfully over the top and perfect for the part.
Wearing several hats in the show (and playing several characters) was Chris Ferris
, who got maximum laughs out of several small roles.
Holding the narrative together were the three Urchins
, played by Sara Booth, Kristen McCabe
and Shay Hannon
. They kept the story moving and popped up in the most entertaining places. They also provided several outstanding songs and some terrific dancing, too.
They didn’t get much stage time, but kudos to Darin Ellis
, who provided the voice of the giant plant, and to Donta Wade
, who brought “Audrey II” to life.
As always with Marshall’s productions, the set and technical work was pitch perfect. Much of the credit belongs to the top-of-the-line directing team: music director Mark Smith
, choreographer Donald Laney
and, of course, to director Jack Cirillo
. They’re all among Huntington’s best (if not the best) at their respective crafts, and they assembled an outstanding show here. Little Shop of Horrors
is a very funny show with lots of great songs, big laughs and a giant murderous plant. What more could you want? It's yet another in a long, entertaining line of great shows from MU.