Review

Review: Little Shop of Horrors

Review: Little Shop of Horrors

Jessica Kim

This iconic B horror cult musical, Little Shop of Horrors, lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken (who later goes on to write Disney songs) is directed by Matthew Davenport in the community production by Vagabond Players. Seymour is living his miserable life working at a florist threatening to go bankrupt any minute when a strange, exotic plant offers to grant him fame, riches, and the girl of his dreams. There is only one slight inconvenience; the Audrey II only consumes humans.

The small and cozy Bernie Legge theatre is long and narrow, with ten seats each row. The set and costumes are well thought out and fitting. The leads Ryan Waechter (Seymour) and Annie Arbuckle (Audrey) have good chemistry and the characters are well portrayed and believable. However, it is Thomas Lamont, who plays Orin, the abusive biker-dentist boyfriend of Audrey, who steals the show. With slicked back hair and the leather jacket he first appears to be a typical greaser but soon it is revealed that he is a sadistic dentist hooked on laughing gas. In the number, Dentist! his powerful voice fills the theatre and he captivates the audience with his charisma. Lamont’s laughter sends chills down the spine.

While the production is well executed, I could not help but notice that none of the actors have microphones on them. During the first half of the first act it isn’t a problem; the cast project and articulate enough to be heard and the band does not overpower the cast. However, when Audrey II, voiced by Regi Nevada, speaks, she seems out of place because the plant is the only one with a mic. Also most numbers with Audrey II are more upbeat than others. In result, the cast can not be heard clearly and sometimes they scream dialogue at each other. Especially Ross Friesen (Mushnik) is constantly barking his lines, so he sounds like he is announcing all the time. Even without Audrey II singing, I’m not sure if the audience in the very back row can hear them clearly, due to the peculiar structure of the theatre.

The puppeteer Richard Wiens is responsible for the movement of Audrey II. Though the movements are not perfect, it is reasonably well put together. The puppet could benefit from more overreaction and melodrama from the cast for the scenes to be more effective and funny, but it does its’ job and the speech and song are well synced.

Overall the vocally strong casts’ performance is impressive and the numbers are charming and enjoyable. The sound may be a problem but this show can be better enjoyed in the first few rows anyway. I urge you to check it out if you are in the area, but if you are going from campus, be prepared for two hours of transit.

 

Little Shop of Horrors runs October 5th – 29th, Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm and Sunday Matinees at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased at www.vagabondplayers.ca/tickets or by phone: 604-521-0412.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/117045558964970/

Posted by UBC Players Club in Review, 0 comments
Alumni Alert! Preview: VIVA by Aenigma Theatre

Alumni Alert! Preview: VIVA by Aenigma Theatre

Hello, Players!

In the midst of the hectic midterm season, I have here yet another distraction for everyone, but it’s theatre, so who can really complain?

Players Club Alumni Tanya Mathivanan and her cast and crew of UBC Theatre Alumni (except Patrick Dodd) at Aenigma Theatre are presenting a production of a New Original Work by Vancouver Playwright (and UBC Theatre BFA Alumus) Scott Button called VIVA. The Show runs from October 14th to the 22nd at the Havana.

Here’s what she has to say:

“Aenigma Theatre is partnering with Bright Young Theatre to present the premiere of this unique new work from local playwright Scott Button. It is a first production of an experimental format of script. Presented as akin to a duologue, the text alternates between dialogue in verse form and prose, with the two stories eventually blending into each other.

We are particularly excited to be presenting a new work from a local talent. As mentioned in the press release, this play deals with very relatable universal issues by setting the stories in a hyper-realistic world and placing the characters in extreme situations. The heightened nature of these circumstances allows the audience to engage both cerebrally and viscerally, in order to examine the questions regarding the human condition as posed by the play.”

Students tickets at a discounted price of $18.

Tickets can be purchased at http://tickets.theatrewire.com/shows/viva/events

**Content Warning: Strong Language and Mature Subject Matter.**

Show Times:

October 14th at 8pm

October 15th at  2pm

October 17th-20th at 8pm

October 21st at 2pm and 8pm

October 22nd at 2pm

Pay-What-You-Can Previews on October 12th and 13th at 8pm

Posted by UBC Players Club in Review, 0 comments