Manhattan College Players took the stage this past weekend with their production of Little Shop of Horrors, a comedy horror rock musical about a run down flower shop that turns famous after one of the workers develops a new plant.
John Corraro played Seymour, a nerdy Urkle like character who is extremely shy. The audience watched Seymour start off as a timid guy who simply fiddled with planets, but then turned into a media sensation who soon cracked under the pressure from the media and the plant that he created. Jo-Ann Mullooly played Audrey, a ditzy girl who dresses like Madonna and is in an abusive relationship with her bad boy dentist boyfriend Orin played by Hunter Loos.
The story is centered around Mr. Mushnik’s, played by George Schlinck, flower shop located on Skid Row. The flower shop is on its way to closing its doors until Seymour, one of Mr. Mushnik’s employees, discovers a new plant that he names Audrey II. The plant is named after the original Audrey, Seymour’s love interest who also happens to work in the flower shop. The only problem with Audrey II is that in order for it to grow, it needs blood. Seymour discovers this on accident, and soon enough he finds himself in over his head with the plants demands for more blood. Another problem that Seymour faces is when the plant comes to life and starts to talk to him.
The story becomes even deeper when Seymour could no longer provide the blood for Audrey II himself. Seymour then begins to think of people that he could possibly feed to the plant in order for it to not cause him any problems. The guy who would never hurt a fly begins to think of ways to kill people in order to feed them to the plant to make it happy. By the end of the play no one is safe from the plant even Seymour himself.
Player’s put their own touch to the classic musical and the first step was changing the time period. The original production took place in the 60s, this version took place in the 80s. Every character was fitted in the appropriate clothing for that era including leg warmers and big hair. While this production had a small cast, the talent was larger than ever.
Both Corraro and Mullooly brought big applause during their ballads, while Loos and Schlinck brought the laughs with their comedic timing and acting.
What every story needs is narration and for this play the narration came from The Urchin’s. This group was made up of three girls, Lorena Vigo, Erica Rubussini and Samantha Bowers. The Urchins moved the story along while giving their two cents in the form of short songs to the audience from a stoop on Skid Row. All three provided power voices and sarcastic remarks that got big reactions from the audience.
Audrey II, the plant that came to life, was played by Ted Lyons. In the beginning of the musical the plant started off very small in a tiny flower pot and then grew into a plant that took up nearly half the set. Lyons truly brought the plant to life by adding a dark edgy tone to the comedy musical.
Players provided a funny, dark and memorable musical that had the audience rooting for Seymour and the rest of the characters until the very end. If there is one lesson to be learned from this show is that you should never feed the plants.