Davis, Goldstein Shine in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Drew Goldstein (l.) and Nathaniel Smith in “Little Shop of Horrors,” Paul VI’s spring musical. Photo by Katy Carlson.

By Chrissy Blake, Cappies Reviewer
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Paul VI Catholic High School’s production of Little Shop of Horrors brings us somewhere that’s green, even in the urban setting of Skid Row. Along with the denizens of Skid Row, we are reminded that sometimes feeding the world (or, in this case, the plants) what it wants sometimes only fuels issues at hand.

Originally written as a non-musical movie, Little Shop of Horrors debuted Off-Broadway in 1982, with a script written by Howard Ashman and music composed by Alan Menken. The musical follows shy and awkward floral assistant Seymour Krelborn as he pines for his coworker Audrey. Seymour has almost given up hope, until he stumbles across a new and unidentifiable breed of plant he names Audrey II, after his coworker. In order to impress Audrey, Seymour will do whatever it takes, even if it means a little bloodshed.

In Paul VI’s production, which ran April 7-9 in the school’s Heet Auditorium, Nathaniel Smith played Seymour Krelborn, with a unique take on the classic character. Seymour’s on-point comedic timing and exaggerated facial expressions added just the right amount of cheese and had the audience giggling throughout his journey. Seymour and Audrey’s (Caleigh Davis) relationship blossomed. The emotion and soaring vocals as Audrey moved around the stage left the audience in awe.

The passion and commitment of the Dr. Orin Scrivello, DDS (Drew Goldstein), had the audience in stitches during his song “Dentist!” Dr. Orin’shigh energy and well developed character read very well, and Goldstein did not shy away from the somewhat mature attitude of his character, something not often seen on the high school stage.

A unique aspect of this production was the use of four different puppets for Audrey II. Despite being intended for operation by two people, Matt Mooney took on the daunting task of single-handedly operating the Audrey II puppets. The puppeteer and voice of Audrey II (Victor Perez-Sales) worked well together to bring Audrey II to life.

Other standouts included Mushnik (Tommy Kelleher), particularly for “Mushnik and Son,” Mrs. Luce (Kelsey Loesch) and The Doo Wop Girls ensemble.

One selling point of theentire production was its incredibly detail-oriented set. Every piece of the set seemed to be deliberate and thought out, and every piece had a purpose. The graffiti matched the story-line, and as Audrey II grew, so did the flowers on the shelves of the shop. The scene changes were also relatively smooth.

The entire production had great comedic timing, strong character arcs, and really came together at the end for the finale, “Don’t Feed The Plants.” All in all, Paul VI’s production reminds us to consider the consequences of not┬ásticking to our morals when making mortal decisions.

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