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Little Shop of Horrors (spoilers)
Last Edit: mikem 01:41 pm EDT 10/14/19
Posted by: mikem 01:38 pm EDT 10/14/19

I have never seen the movie or any other production of Little Shop, so I don't really have any template in my head about what the show should be like. I enjoyed the current production, but I felt a bit the way that I sometimes feel at Encores productions: a lot of talented people on stage, who aren't playing the exact same show.

I think Little Shop's tone is hard to get right. It's primarily a comedy, but people are getting killed, and, especially nowadays, it's hard to know what the tone should be for the domestic abuse element. Audrey's boyfriend beats her badly enough that he breaks her arm. The show can't laugh that off, but it also can't let that overwhelm the comedic elements. In general, this production plays it more on the cartoony side, with some variation. Christian Borle is very cartoony, Tammy Blanchard is more "real," and Jonathan Groff is somewhere in between. But in general, the show is very surface. I didn't care that Muchnik got eaten, because he was never a three-dimensional character. (And I don't have any sense of what Muchnik actually thinks of Seymour -- does he like him, or is he just using him?) When the characters get eaten, there's no visible blood or gore. And Seymour's jumping into the plant at the end just seems like a poor decision a not-very-bright person would do. I don't know the script enough to know whether there is more three-dimensionality than we are seeing.

People earlier said that Blanchard was struggling with the notes. I didn't notice that, so perhaps they lowered the keys. But her voice has this fragile, bruised quality to it, which I thought worked really well for the character.
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