Just how badly does the meek and nerdy Seymour want to get out of Skid Row and live happily ever after with his beautiful, sweet, but seemingly unattainable coworker? Badly enough to feed his new strange and unusual plant – a plant that seems to have a hunger for ordinary, garden-variety humans? Well, it’s Suppertime at Grossmont High School, and Seymour’s gotta decide. And a lot of people wanted to see that decision being made, as it was standing room only at Grossmont for their Thursday-night opening of Ashman and Menken’s Little Shop of Horrors.

It’s safe to say the customers weren’t disappointed. Director Amity Ecker’s production hits the right notes throughout. Leading the way was Andrew Erath as Seymour, with an impressive and creative sense for this character and the comedy. He kicks off his character with a deeply felt urgency to escape his current life in the big Skid Row number, captures the rage at Audrey’s bad-boy boyfriend in a terrific duet of Get It with Audrey’s namesake – Audrey II (the plant), sings Suddenly Seymour with a self-conscious humility that works very well, and always seems to have a knack for comic timing even when things on stage, just like things in his character’s life, don’t go according to plan. As when he tries to fire a gun saying, “Take that!” When the gun doesn’t go off, he shrugs it off with, “I guess not.”

Claudia Ethridge stars as Audrey in her first stage role, and shows good promise, both belting out her part of Suddenly Seymour and as the sweet, sad girl looking for Somewhere That’s Green – a utopian suburb she’s unlikely to find so long as she’s dating the wrong kind of guy. Like Orin Scrivello. DDS. Steven Brault definitely has that amusingly bad-boy, sadistic dentist persona going on. And he’s more than willing to rip out the teeth of the six Ronettes – the Doo-Wop girls who also act as narrators, blending their voices well and keeping the energy high. Kudos to them, along with the rest of the ensemble, when they had to do some a capella singing for The Meek Shall Inherit after an opening-night glitch, and they carried it home.

Clay Alexander is flower shop owner Mr. Mushnik who tries to adopt his newly successful store clerk with a fun Mushnik & Son. The ensemble includes solos from Bonnie Alexander and Blake Johnston who start bringing the last scene to a close, with Bonnie singing and Blake (having recovered from earlier having his stomach stepped on by a hypnotized customer) hilariously delivering the stoically melodramatic narrator monologue before the final full-cast closing of Don’t Feed the Plants. That’s followed up by dancing to It’s the End of the World as We Know It after the bows. But the plant is so well done (with Matt Krahling’s vocals and Doug Nau’s puppeteering the big guy with a tongue that wiggles happily in anticipating of feeding), that you might not heed such warnings. Go ahead, feed the plants. If the world’s gonna end, let us be consumed by Adurey IIs.

Performs November 12 - 22, 2008.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~
Wino/Ensemble: Blake Johnston
Katie Foggiano
Emily Greenblatt
Lanae Klabunde
Terra Musgrove
Sarah Powell
Deanna Thurman
Wino/Ensemble: Bonnie Alexander
Mushnik: Clay Alexander
Audrey: Claudia Ethridge
Seymour: Andrew Erath
Audrey II (Voice)/Ensemble: Matt Krahling
Customer/Martin/Interviewer: Sam Halgren
Snip/Ensemble: Karly Danos
Mrs. Luce/Ensemble: Kayla Klabunde
Customer/Ensemble: Kendra Kelly
Orin: Steven Brault
Audrey II (Plant): Doug Nau

Director & Choreographer: Amity Ecker
Musical Director & Score Arrangement: Michael McClure
Set Designer: Dahlia Barakat
Assistant Director: Caitlin Steinmann
Technical Director: Willie Schwartz
Costume Designers: Tina Fogg and Nikki Bartlett
Property Master: Nic Gunvaldson
Lighting Designers: Willie Schwartz and Cindy Tran
Stage Manager: Rhiana Bible


Home   |   Awards   |   Reviews   |   News   |   Actors   |   Headshots   |   Theatres   |   Calendars   |   Newsletters   |   Membership
Auditions   |   Workshops   |   Drama Instruction   |   Playwrights/Scripts   |   Vendors   |   Links   |   Advertising   |   About Us