ALERT! ALL GREEN THUMBS WANTED AT DOWNTOWN CABARET


BONNIE GOLDBERG

What happens to an almost bankrupt flower shop on Skid Row when an industrious employee discovers a unique and unusual plant that attracts a ton of attention? The result is the exotically entertaining “Little Shop of Horrors” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken taking root at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport weekends until Saturday, September 28, presented by the Bridgeport Theatre Company now entering its fourth season of non-profit community theater.

With sunshine, a weekly watering, a pinch of plant food, an occasional sprinkle of fertilizer and a few encouraging words, most plants are in a state of nirvana. But if your philodendron or ivy could talk, it might request some special tidbit for blooming pleasure. It definitely would if it’s a unique prickly variety hand cultivated in the floral establishment where one Seymour Krelbourn (Garth West) works.

Love will motivate even the meekest of men to move mountains and molehills for their sweethearts, even if it means making a pact with a fiendish plant. In order for Seymour to woo and win Audrey (Holly Martin), the girl of his dreams, he must supply “the plant” with its favorite growth elixir:  human blood. As “the plant,” nicknamed Audrey II, flourishes and flowers, Seymour realizes what a money making monsterpiece he has created and the potential fame it can bring to his modest Skid Row florist shop. He also realizes that as “the plant” grows, so does its thirsty need for the red stuff and its cries of “feed me” echo louder and louder. The catchy melodies carry the story out of control, as Audrey II wraps its tendrils around everyone in sight. The tune "Suddenly, Seymour" is especially moving.

The plant is a cross between a Venus Fly Trap and a wide-mouthed whale, with voice provided by Gina Lariccia and puppeting by Sean Sepulveda. Also starring in the show are John Stegmaier as the mad dentist and many others and PJ Morello as Mr. Mushnik, the shop owner who adopts the orphaned Seymour. A whole flowerpot of singing and dancing is provided by Heather Abrado, Alana Cauthen and Sarah Paige Morris, in a rock chorus sort of way. Lance Gray directs and choreographs and Eli Newsom is music director and artistic director of BTC in this fun production that opened Off- Broadway in 2003.

For tickets ($28, seniors $23, students $18), call The Cabaret box office at 203-576-1636, option "0", or online at www.BridgeportTheatre.org or info@BridgeportTheatre.org. Performances are Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and Sunday 9/22 at 5 p.m. as well as Thursday, 9/26 at 7:30 p.m. Future productions include "Dreamgirls" January 17-February 1, 2014, "To Kill a Mockingbird" March 21-29, 2014 and "Shrek the Musical" April 25-May 10, 2014. Give this new group the opportunity to please and pleasure your entertainment needs.

You don’t need a green thumb to enjoy “Little Shop of Horrors” but if Seymour offers you a Band-Aid run fast.

 

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