Little Shop of Horrors @ The Avo Playhouse
I had the pleasure of attending the production of Little Shop of Horrors at the Avo Playhouse in Vista, performed by the Encore Youth Theatre. It was a delightful and hilarious tale of an alien species of fly trap that preys on human blood. The opening scene of the play takes place in a flower shop down on skid row that is hurting for lack of business until the two employees Seymour and Audrey come up with an idea. Seymour likes to raise rare and unusual plants and his newest rare plant is put on display in the shop window to draw people inside. To the disbelief of the shop owner the plant actually does draw in a customer who spends $100 on roses. Overnight the little flower shop on skid row becomes a success. The only problem is that Seymour discovers the only way to keep the plant healthy and grow is to feed it human blood. Seymour is in love with Audrey, but she is dating a dentist that abuses her. Overtime the plant (Audrey II) is no longer satisfied with drops of Seymour’s blood, but needs a greater quantity of blood to feed its growing appetite. Seymour ends up feeding Audrey’s dentist boyfriend to the plant after he dies from inhaling too much nitrous oxide. Seymour and the plants fame grows bigger and now he has the attention of Audrey the only person he has ever loved. The shop owner gets suspicious and he ends up being fed to the plant. Seymour is in over his head and intends on killing the plant. Instead the plant eats Audrey and then Seymour. It may sound like a gruesome tale, but overall it was delightful and hilarious.
The two main characters Seymour and Audrey were sensational actors and singers. I am sure that these two have a bright future in theatre. The three skid row girls that did most of the singing were great singers when they sang individually, but all together they did not harmonize well. I do have to say that they were the quickest costume changers I have every seen because they had to change all night from one scene to the next. The blood eating plant Audrey II was an amazing creation. Someone was inside this giant plant costume making it move and being the voice and it could actually eat people. The background noises were appropriately created, especially the horrific noise Audrey II made every time it ate someone. The props for this production included a motorcycle and a dentist chair that they brought into the theatre. The shop owner had gray makeup all over his face that was distracting to his character. I think the makeup was trying to make him look like an old man, but instead it just looked funny. At times there were technical problems with the microphones, so it was hard to hear the characters sing.
Overall I think the production was well casted and a success. I am glad that I was in the second row and not the front row for this production because the theatre was so small the actors were walking, singing and dancing at times right in front of the people in the first row. I will keep this in mind for future events that I attend at this venue. I believe that the small size of the theatre and our closeness to the stage made it easier to notice things that were out-of-place. In a bigger theatre with more room, we might not have noticed these things. In conclusion I had a great night of laughter and fun with my friends.
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