“Find Your Green at “Little Shop” Filled With Music & Fun!”
Written By Lorenzo Marchessi
With a fanciful direction and choreography by Michel-Anthony Nozzi and wonderful musical and vocal direction by Joshua Eli Kranze the Kentwood Players at the Westchester Playhouse in Los Angeles presents a wonderfully charming version of the popular play “Little Shop of Horrors”.
Originally based on the Roger Corman 1960’s film of the same name, it wasn’t until 1982 when the incredible team of music composer Alan Menken and book writer Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast) created a musical score with the 60’s doo-whop style of rock’n’roll that it launched a national and world-wide stage tours and eventually a full length feature film with Rick Moranis and Steve Martin.
A couple of amazing nods need to go out to some of the performers. Kristin Tower-Rowles plays Audrey and she has the most beautiful voice and amazing acting/comic chops you’ll ever see in live theater. Her songs, “Somewhere That’s Green” and her duet in “Suddenly Seymour,” will literally blow you away with warmth and heart. Kristin is funny, charming and plays the broken down and battered girlfriend to a tee down to her hair, costume and attitude. Bravo Kristin!
Now there is a musical chorus that guides you through the story through those doo-whop sounds of the past and its Elizabeth Adabale as Ronnette, Amanda Majkrzak as Crystal and Brittney S. Wheeler as Chiffon who make this vocal magic happen. The harmonies of Amanda, Elizabeth and Brittney are wonderful and rock you through the whole play. Coupled with their many fabulous costume changes, you’ll have a great time watching (and listening) to them!
John Devereaox does a wonderful soulful filled characterization as the voice of the man-eating plant Audrey II. Seen briefly in the opening number as a street person most of his talents are showcased singing and providing a sadistic cannibalistic voice (off stage) to this oversized flytrap!
Seymour, the nervous and somewhat self-deprecating flower shop clerk is performed by Brett Chapin who does an honest job of giving nerds a good name, although not necessarily a happy ending we’d all want. Now there is a dentist, yuck, portrayed with a lot of creepiness and spite by Randy Brown who does a fantastic job showcasing his ‘under the influence’ of laughing gas talents. Randy really makes creepy ‘cool’ to watch. With his definitive look and nasty ‘bossy’ attitude, Mr. Mushnik, the flower shop owner, is performed by Peter Miller who has good chemistry with Brett as the banter back and forth the fate of the flower shop.
Some fun and clever multiple character/ensemble parts by Shari Barrett (as the Nurse), Cole Edward Wagner (as Bernstein), Rusty Greg (as Patrick Martin), Ruth Andrea Featherstone (as Mrs. Luce), Michael Sandidge (as Skip Snip)Fiona Okida, Carly Linehan,
The amazing puppeteers, who literally come out and reach you in the audience are: LilaRose Yelin, Barbara Haberman, Hollister Starrett, Cole Edward Wagner, Kobe Kubes, Trevor Hart, David Contreras, Fiona Okida and Adline Hall. (Most of wich told me they could see and were taking sound, dialogue and music cues to do their actions! Bravo guys!)
“Little Shop of Horrors” is a family event that takes a small Sci-Fi premise and ads a plant, some rockin’ music and a wild group of characters of a roller coaster of fun! Bring the whole family and check them out at www.KentwoodPlayers.org.