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past ReviewsBroadway evaluate small Shop of Horrors Theatre review by Matthew Murray - October 2, 2003
Little Shop that Horrors Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman. Music by Alan Menken. Command by Jerry Zaks. Choreography by catalen Marshall. Set design through Scott Pask. Costume architecture by william Ivey Long. Lighting architecture by Donald Holder. Sound design by T. Richard Fitzgerald. Orchestrations by Danny Troob. Cast: Hunter Foster, Kerry Butler, v Rob Bartlett, Michael Leon Wooley, Carla J. Hargrove, Trisha Jeffrey, Dequina Moore, boy name P. Robinson, Anthony Asbury, bill Remington, Matt Vogel, and Douglas Sills.Theatre: Virginia Theatre, 245 West 52nd StreetRunning time: 2 hrs with one 15 minute intermission.Audience: proper for youngsters 8 and also older. Kids under 4 room not allowed in the theatre.Schedule: Tuesday in ~ 7 PM, Wednesday in ~ 2 PM and 8 PM, Thursday and Friday in ~ 8 PM, Saturday in ~ 2 PM and also 8 PM, Sunday in ~ 3 PMTicket price: $96 and also $66. Saturday night $96 and $71. Wednesday Matinees $91 and also $56. VIP tickets are available for $240 ($200 add to a $40 organization charge) and also $180 ($150 add to an $30 business charge) v Broadway inside Circle. Contact (212) 563-2929Tickets: TelechargeIt"s a pleasure to be able to report the the Broadway premiere the LittleShop of Horrors - the hit 1982 musical version of the 1960 roger Corman film- has undergone few script and score changes; this is practically exactly thesame script and also score the made the Off-Broadway production and countlessothers everywhere the world audience-pleasing hits. And also it would certainly be a happiness tobe able to say that experienced Broadway manager Jerry Zaks has actually lived up tothe an obstacle of the material and also helmed this production to sublime comicand musical perfection. That"s just not the case.The show"s inherent heart and also plaintive charms have been eviscerated, andthe remnants let loosened at the Virginia Theatre to plant themselves under forwhat is likely to be, regardless, a lengthy stay. It"s necessary to note,though, that no manufacturing of the show, but misguided, deserve to completelysmother the show"s foundational sweetness or the killer story, and thisproduction is no exception.The story the nebbishy Seymour Krelbourn, that discovers a new breed of plantwith a taste for person blood, can"t aid but play. Anyone deserve to relate toSeymour"s troubled background, longing to be more than that is, and hisyearning desire for his lover co-worker Audrey, who"s grounding in a violentrelationship through a self-destructive dentist. However aside indigenous those textualbasics, this is a cold and forlorn production. Zaks - that took end theshow ~ a reportedly damaging Florida tryout that saw many of itsoriginal actors and an innovative team depart - has done part admirable work, butnot addressed the show"s many pressing problem: exactly how to make thisquintessentially Off-Broadway music fly ~ above the great White Way.His primarily solution, to fill the phase from floor come flies through ScottPask"s eye-popping sets - foreboding vistas the downtown squalor and also ominousthunderclouds - to be a great step, yet it shouldn"t have been the only one.Far an ext serious is the the display requires no more than - and also flourisheswith - a tiny actors (traditionally nine, here expanded to twelve), and also thatthe Howard Ashman and also Alan Menken score and also Ashman book, while undeniablymodern classics, space made up totally of the smallest big jokes and mostrestrained showstoppers imaginable.They can all it is in deliriously exciting in the best environment, despite noneis qualified of fairly filling the big and frequently unforgiving Virginia. DannyTroob"s hearty brand-new orchestrations for Henry Aronson"s rollicking,Broadway-sized band offer the music as much breadth as possible, but whileDonald Holder"s sometimes overly hyperactive lights assist Zaks do thesmaller numbers bigger, they don"t do much for the larger songs.Choreographer kathleen Marshall"s underpowered dances also carry out littleassistance.The performers - conserve one - don"t find much size in their roles to fill thegaps. That exception is plunder Bartlett"s Mushnik, physically imposing andable to expectations the distance from the stage to the mezzanine through a glare, anarched eyebrow, or a raised hand; that has tiny time onstage overall, butmakes the most of it. Douglas Sills is funnier in his countless smallcharacter functions than in his bigger one as the nitrous oxide-sucking dentist;he doesn"t find all the comedy possible, yet he does fine enough. So doCarla J. Hargrove, Trisha Jeffrey, and also DeQuina Moore as the Greek chorus ofthree street urchins that belt out the show"s most contagious tunes in finelymatched nearby harmony.The two central roles are an ext problematic. Kerry butler misses many ofAudrey"s laughs and also touches on just the outermost boundaries of she heart,but her performance has charm and is at the very least moderately affecting. And also hersinging (if not always her lower-class brand-new York accent) is dynamite. HunterFoster, a semi-hunky leading man type, is right for Seymour vocally but inno various other way; he has far too much faith in himself, and his obviouslyaffected whiny voice has tendency to grate after ~ a while. His Seymour is never aman torn in between fame, love, and also destruction. Unsurprisingly, once Butlerand Foster come with each other for their large duet - "Suddenly Seymour," among theshow"s most enduring songs - they raise the rafters however can"t autumn in love.Neither can we.As is so often the case, Seymour"s tree Audrey II is this production"s mostvibrant star. That voice is provided with amply booming bass-baritoneeffectiveness by Michael-Leon Wooley, but it"s boy name P. Robinson who stealsthe show. The designer and also manipulator the the original production"s seriesof Audrey IIs, Robinson has actually returned to style (with the Jim Henson Company)and operate (with assistants Anthony Asbury, invoice Remington, and Matt Vogel)them again. These Audrey IIs provide the most dynamic and also viscerally effective puppetry Broadway has actually seen in ages. Younever need to worry about these puppets acquiring lost in a big house.It"s in city hall the perfect synchronization between Robinson and also Wooleythat you realize just how Broadway professionalism have the right to get specific thingstremendously right also while obtaining others really wrong; if i didn"t knowthe plant wasn"t actually speaking, ns wouldn"t have the ability to tell. They"re allthat good. That course, even Robinson and also his cohorts aren"t completelyimmune to this production"s problem aura: throughout the show"s last (andonly truly stage-filling) number, Robinson take away Audrey II because that one final,cataclysmic, blood hunt.
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But though the entire actors gives the number theevening"s most fulfilling performance, once the number reaches its musicaland dramatic climax, Robinson and Audrey II let the audience off easy, andpull back.I guess: v they, like the remainder of this tiny Shop the Horrors, justweren"t fairly bloodthirsty enough.