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Little Shop of Horrors

a Musical
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken

COMPANY : Atlanta Lyric Theatre
VENUE : Byers Studio Theatre at The Lyric [WEBSITE]
ID# 2403

SHOWING : September 13, 2007 - October 07, 2007

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Extended until 10/7!

A down-and out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination!

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies has become a house hold name, thanks to a highly successful film version and a score by the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who redefined the animated musical film with Disney's "The Little Mermaid", "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin." Charming, tuneful and hilarious, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Little Shop of Horrors never fails to entertain.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Brandt Blocker
Lighting Design Michael Magursky
Stage Manager Amy McGuire
Set Design Christopher M. McKenzie
Urchin Taprena Augustine
Urchin Felcia Boswell
Voice of Audrey II Brad Bowen
Seymour Jeff Juday
Audrey Claci Miller
Urchin Ardale Shepard
Orin Scrivello, DDS et al Geoff Uterhardt
Mr. Mushnik Robert Wayne
Choreography Ricardo Aponte
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Little Shop Rocks
by hlickman
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
5.0
Congratulations to the Lyric Theatre. They finally got it right. In the small confines of the Byers Studio space, director Brandt Blocker delivers a show worthy of praise. From a stellar cast (Jeff Juday, Clasi Miller, Robert Wayne, Googie Uterhardt and the 3 doo-wop girls) to fine production values, it felt like a real theatre show for once at the Lyric. Lighting, sound (yes, the mics and backing tracks were flawless), choreography (the talented Ricardo Aponte) were all top notch. The costumes were good. Not great, but good enough. I highly recommend this show and encourage the Lyric to continue to produce at this level. A++ [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Don't Feed The Plants, but do see Little Shop
by Jay Sherman
Monday, October 1, 2007
4.5
This is one of my favorite musicals, so my expectations are always high. I get annoyed by directors who ignore the comic bits and stampede through the show just to get to the songs. This did not happen here. In fact, the director found even more bits, and most worked. The lighting design was absolutely incredible. I felt the green specials shining down through out the show were a bit too much, but I'm being very picky. It was hands down the best lighting job I have seen for this show. Jeff Juday as Seymour was one of the best. I have seen directors cast 19 year olds to play this, and it is always a huge mistake. How can we feel sorry for someone beaten down by life if they aren't even old enough to buy a beer? Jeff, who is an older Seymour just makes sense. Also, his voice was good, but not great. Never off pitch, but sometimes frail. I have heard "Perfect vocals" in this role, and it's not as real or endearing. Audrey(played by Claci Miller) seems like his perfect match. Her vocals were incredible. I would have liked to see her play up her being naive a bit more. I found Geoff Uterhardt to be an adequate Dentist. Where he really shined, was in the multiple roles other than Orin. He had complete character changes, with changes down to the detail. The 3 Urchins were the best I have seen, and that includes New York. I was amazed at just hoe engaging they were. They are accented by Ricardo Aponte's very fresh choreography. The rest of the cast fit their roles and rounded out a great ensemble.

Okay, where the show lost half a point. First, there were a couple of scenes blocked so far downstage (& off Stage) that the actors were barely visible. And the fact that the show that was so perfect in so many ways, was tracked. I know it was probably a necessity, but oh-how I would have loved to hear a live band!

Again, a wonderful job to all! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Solid Show
by AtlStageGuy
Friday, September 28, 2007
4.5
Little Shop of Horrors is one of my favorite musicals. I have previously seen both good and bad productions of this show. This one, I'm happy to tell you, is quite good. In the past I've been disappointed in shows produced by the Lyric, but I had high hopes for this one, and it delivers. High energy, amazing vocals, good acting, and quality production values make this a great show.
Right out of the gate, the "urchins" smack you in the face with their amazing harmonies (whew, these girls can "sang"). The rest of the cast maintain the style and quality throughout the production. Jeff Juday's Seymour is likable and engaging. Claci Miller does a nice job with Audrey (a role which can become a somewhat annoying characature, but she makes Audrey real and believable). Robert Wayne is perfectly cast as Mushik. He never lets his character become too dour or mean spirited. But, the scene stealer is Googie Uterhardt. His confidence and ability to command the stage adds a spark to each of his "minor roles". His Orin is both disturbing and funny (a tough combination to pull off). Kudos!
Not every choice in this production was on target. I don't know why the urchins came out wearing choir robes during Suddenly Seymour. It seemed out of place. I thought that the Finale (Don't Feed the Plants) was staged a bit strangely and looked awkward. Some of the props throughout the show seemed "stagy", but overall, they didn't really detract from the show's tone or vision. So, yes...congratulations to the Lyric Theater for getting this one right. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Little Shop of Talent All Around
by KristieKrabe
Saturday, September 22, 2007
5.0
(BTW – I had someone yell at me once that my reviews have spoilers. This one does, I guess, so if you are one of the 2 people in the world that doesn’t know the story of Little Shop, then see the show then read my review…)

So anyway…

I think it was back in 2004-2005 when I remember being shown around what was to become the future home of the Byers Theatre, Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s new “Black Box” stage. As I sat in what was essentially a hallway / reception area for a Senior Citizens Center I remember thinking, “How in the heck are they going to make a theater out of this?!” Over the next few years, I watched it develop into a decent space for rehearsals and productions, but I still felt as if it hadn’t reached the full limits of what it was dreamed up for.

With The Lyric’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” the dream has come to fruition. It is obvious that many, many long hours from a number of hard working people were put in to turn the theater into a top-notch space for a wonderful production. Everything from the new paint job, new seats, new lighting and the fabulous sound system heralds a new era for Atlanta Lyric’s Byers Theater.

Little Shop itself is a popcorn show – good, clean, goofy fun. Even if it is done in a mediocre production, it is still easy to enjoy because of its clever book and catchy tunes. However, this production was by no means mediocre. From the start, you knew that you were about to be treated to a Broadway caliber performance. The three Urchin’s (played by Taprena Augustine, Felica Boswell, and Ardale Shepard blended beautifully and each had a moment to shine in individual solos. They kept the show moving forward as the narrators / Greek Chorus of the show. Every once and a while I run across vocalists that make me react emotionally when they sing, and these ladies are now on my list.

As Seymour and Audrey, Jeff Juday and Claci Miller portrayed the roles wonderfully. Every production I see of LSoH is tainted by my memory of the movie version, and happily, Jeff and Claci captured all the best parts of Rick Moranis and Ellen Green, yet exceeded them by being much better vocalists. Their real life chemistry shines through in the duet “Suddenly Seymour” so that the entire audience falls in love with this couple.

As Orin, Googie Uterhardt has the same dilemma of living up to the Steve Martin film version. Googie makes the part his own, however, and has the added bonus of being able to steal the show in numerous character appearances throughout the show.

Robert Wayne continues to impress me with his comedic ability as Mushnik. He makes the most of a character that you don’t really want to like – someone who only cares about the amount of cash in the drawer, yet you feel bad for him when he’s gone. (Side note: I always wondered if Mushnik knew that the plant needed blood to grow bigger, would he be okay with that and not turn Seymour in? Hmmmm…)

Then we come to the character that is so large, it takes two folks to portray him – Audrey Two. The puppetry of Justin Sims is amazing and the silky smooth voice of Brad Bowen relays the soulful sinister quality of the monster plant.

One of the main stars of this production for me was the sound system. Body mikes were used for the show and to my ear the sound was flawless. Every voice was clear and well blended with the others and not once overpowered by the music. And while I am usually not a huge fan of pre-recorded tracks, the one used for this show was very well done and well mixed. I was also impressed with the magic that was worked with the lighting design. The overall production value for this show has set a standard that I think everyone in town should strive for.

If I had one tiny, itsy bitsy, miniscule complaint (and even this isn’t a huge deal for me) it was the “in one” scenes done in front of the curtain. I completely understand that it was a necessity to do these scenes this way so that Audrey II would have the chance to “grow” but I would have loved it if the curtain, instead of having “Little Shop of Horrors” painted in the fun, bright neon graphic, could rather have been a backdrop of Skid Row or something a little more neutral. It momentarily pulled me out of the moment during times like “Somewhere That’s Green.” However, it was for a very brief moment thanks to the amazing talent on stage, so again, just a minor quibble.

Overall an amazing show. Kudos to all!
[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Couldn't Agree More! by line!
Got a chance to see it this afternoon (Sunday 9/23/07) and was totally blown away! I'm not a big fan of musicals in general, but I always enjoy seeing good talent, doing good work, in a good show. This was definitely the most solid and impressive production I have seen since OSA's "Urinetown" - not surprisingly a number of the same folks are involved in this one too. My only negatives: the seats felt like they were "angled back" like we were in an airplane taking off (making it very difficult to stand up for the well deserved standing "O" at curtain call); it sounded to me like the crew and the ushers were starting the applause from the back of the house (might have just been some over zealous friends or family but I'm not sure), I still don't like the "karaoke" effect of using backing tracks instead of a band (even though I got used to them and they did sound appropriate to the show), and lastly - why the smoke? They mentioned that the show has been extended for an additional weekend through October 6th or 7th, so I would strongly reccommend getting you tickets as soon as possible. This one is HOT and will undoubtedly sell out quickly. It is most definitely worth it! GREAT SHOW!
-Rial
A Brilliant Season Launch!
by galislave
Saturday, September 15, 2007
5.0
Forget the network shows debuting on TV in two weeks. The most exciting season premiere is at The Lyric Theatre and their production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

This brilliant production helmed by new Artistic Director Brandt Blocker bursts onto the petite Byers Theatre Stage with amazing verve.

The ensemble cast is led by Jeff Juday as Seymore, the nebbish botanist hopelessly smitten with the adorable Audrey (Juday's real life wife Claci Miller). In lesser hands, these two classic characters would become caricatures. Not so here. The broad comedy is tempered with genuine heart and true tenderness. Audrey's demise brought a gentle gasp from the opening night capacity crowd.

And talent runs deep in all the other roles. Googie Uterhardt, is spot on with his array disguises—from his hilarious sadomasochistic Dentist to a charming matron. I was at the edge of my seat waiting for his next entrance. Robert Wayne is wonderfully fussy and full of woe as Mushnick, Brad Bowden brings a sexy seductiveness to the Voice of Audrey II and Justin Sims brings the Plant to life with his terrific puppeteering. As for the Urchins (Ardale Shepherd, Felicia Boswell, Taprena Augustine) I have three words…PER-FEC-TION! Flawlessly executing Ricardo Aponte's clever and fun choreography, the three ladies bring snap to the already sharp show.

The production values on this LITTLE SHOP have heretofore not been seen at The Lyric's Byers space. Although battling some minor glitches due to a thunderstorm, the set, sound and lighting were all top notch. One hopes that this is but foreshadowing of the season to come.

In a touch of irony, the Plant of LITTLE SHOP is plotting world domination. If The Lyric Theatre continues to produce at this caliber, it could soon dominate the musical theatre scene of Atlanta.

Call the box office for tickets today! 404.377.9948 [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Sounds more like an ad than a review to me... by BenAround
... although I am sure this show is excellent with the talents of Mr.'s Uterhardt, Wayne and Aponte involved, whose work I know personally. I promise to review it for you for real if/when I get to see the show. (A word of advice: Next time, let us do a little work to find the box office phone number ourselves so it sounds less like a PR piece.) I am very glad to hear of some new direction at Lyric and share your hope for a bright future in the Byers space.
Ben
Even if it does sound like an add... by notastagemom
I have to say that after seeing the show myself on Friday and having no real reason to advertise, I agree with the poster. I walked out feeling like I should shout from the rooftops for everyone to go and see it! By all means put the number, the address, email address, website, whatever! Everyone should see this show! I know it may seem hard for some to believe without seeing it, but as one that is not easily impressed, I was blown away by how great the show was.

I will tell you this, my daughter did audition for one of their shows for this season and the show has not been cast yet. After seeing the show, my daughter and I joked about calling up Brandt and telling him if nothing else, we would be happy to sweep the floor after the shows just to be part of it! LOL! I am not kidding and I know I sound over the top, but it is darn impressive! Go see it and enjoy! You all may be writing adds for this after you see it!
Little Shop is a must see! Don't miss it!
by notastagemom
Friday, September 14, 2007
5.0
Brandt Blocker is the perfect person to carry on the vision of Atlanta Lyric Theatre. He certainly has proven that with the opening of Little Shop of Horrors. The show was outstanding. From the moment the curtain opens until the final bows it is a treat! I would go as far as to say that it is probably the best show out there right now. The talent in this show is amazing. I could not begin to pick a favorite character or actor in the show because each did such a great job. Not only were the actors great, but the set was wonderful as well.

Way to go Atlanta Lyric Theatre! Brandt, I am looking forward to many many more shows! I may even have to get season tickets!

If you have not made plans to see this show, call and get your tickets now! I predict this show will be a sell out once people start talking about it. This show is money well spent! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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