Saturday, November 8, 2014

Little Shop of Horrors

Owning a successful flower shop can be a challenging business but when your shop is located on Skid Row where only the drunk, homeless and the poor reside, the idea of selling any flowers seems impossible.

That will quickly change when one of the store employees purchases an exotic plant. Little do they know that this small purchase will change their lives (and deaths) forever.

Welcome to "Little Shop of Horrors" which will continue Friday and Saturday through November 15th with show times at 7:30 p.m. at the Iowa Western Community College Lied Performing Arts Center.

This is a cult-classic, comical, horror musical with catchy tunes, great Doo-Wop music, and rhythm and blues music from a plant with a lot of attitude as a blood-loving puppet.

As the trampy bleached-blond Audrey in tight skirts and high-spiked heels, Kelsi Weston is delightful with her beautiful high voice. She is the not so secret love of Seymour who named the plant after her. Landry Matthews is perfect as the wimpy Seymour who dreams of Audrey. Dan Luethke portrays the perfectly villainous, vain and sadistic dentist with a James Dean look. As the overnight successful business owner Mushnik, Jordan Rudningen clearly embraces this role expressing his frustrations and triumphs. As the Wino, Thomas Bennett has a beautiful singing voice which can almost stop the show.

Each of the trio of girl singers of Chiffon, Crystal, and Ronnette known in real-life as Stephanie Parris, Alia Sedlacek, and Brittany Allen have great solo voices but on opening night, they were not blending as a trio.

The backstage crew is outstanding with the lighting perfectly matching the storyline. The sets, props, costumes, hair and make-up were all wonderful as well as the small orchestra which was unseen but both supportive and leading while enhancing the story and the songs. The choreography by Michelle Garrity was simple but complimentary to the story and the dancing abilities of the cast. The sound system was overall good but was uneven in places.

The star of the show, Audrey II was controlled by puppeteer Adam Long with the deep-voice of Caleb James. This team obviously thoroughly enjoys their creation of Audrey II.

The show begins at 7:30 with a fifteen-minute intermission after the first hour. Including the bows, the show concludes around 9:15. This is not a show for small children but teens and adults will completely enjoy the performance.

Tickets can be purchased contacting the Arts Center box office at 712-388-7140 with $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

Overall, Little Shop of Horrors performed by the IWCC students is a fun show for a great price.

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