Evaluate: Comedy, horror and nice tunes thrive in FST’s “Little Store of Horrors.”

“Little Store of Horrors” appeared as soon as once more on the Florida Studio Theater. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken planted the seeds of a really humorous musical of their 1982 adaptation of Roger Corman’s 1960 movie. Its story is as previous as time.

Boy meets carnivorous vegetation from outer house. A boy makes a Faustian take care of an alien plant to impress a woman. A boy feeds a wierd plant with disagreeable characters. Alien plant backs out of the deal. Unusual plant eats boy. An odd plant eats a woman. Alien vegetation are taking up the world.

Seymour (Sam Safarian) is the protagonist of the musical. He’s a scavenger who works in a low-rent flower store on Skid Row in an unnamed metropolis within the early Sixties. This neighborhood is a Manichaean pit of poverty straight out of a Roald Dahl story (probably “Seymour and the Poverty Pit”). Seymour simply needs to get out of that gap. He undoubtedly needs to get the lady. (He is secretly in love with Audrey, the comfort retailer’s different assistant.)

However he believes he wants monetary success to win it. Fats likelihood. His boss, Mr. Muchnick (Joel Bloom), is able to shut down his failing flower store. When Seymour finds a wierd plant after a complete photo voltaic eclipse, he shows the plant in a retailer window to draw prospects.

It’s going to by no means work, Mr. Muchnick says. It really works! Enterprise is rising. The plant additionally grows – and continues to say Seymour’s blood together with his signature “Feed Me.”

Seymour names the plant “Audrey II” in his honor. That is when the Faustian cut price begins. Audrey II needs recent human flesh, not simply blood. She promised Seymour fame and fortune in return. Seymour reluctantly complies – first fed by Audrey’s abusive boyfriend (a sadistic dentist who will get off on inflicting ache) after which by his former boss.

As talked about, the manufacturing unit welcomes the deal. An alien invasion ensues. The ethical of the story? Don’t feed the vegetation.

Director Sean Daniels is a fan of this materials. It is a tightly scripted present, with nice faux-60s songs, gags, and fast reversals. Ashman and Menken’s comedic timing is great. When you have an ear for music, you may make the viewers howl. Daniels does.

Sam Safarian as Seymour with Audrey II in FST’s “Little Store of Horrors.”

Picture courtesy of Jon Jones

The solid additionally has a blast.

Seferian’s Seymour has a great coronary heart and a great thoughts to match. His character is a nerd, however not naive. It was laid out and laid out. He would not get any respect, and respect is what he deserves. Sevarian’s character is aware of this.

Due to this ambition, Audrey II vegetation the seeds of temptation in Seymour’s thoughts. Poor little one. Audrey (Samantha Duvall), the unique human feminine, is one other star who would not shine. Her character has an creative comedic high quality – maybe a budding Goldie Hawn.

However Audrey’s viciously sadistic boyfriend slaps her and kicks her self-image to zero. John Gregorio performs this dastardly dentist to comedic perfection. Lengthy earlier than “Blue Velvet”, his character demonstrated the hazards of nitrous oxide abuse. (Simply say no to N2O, children.)

Blum’s Mushnik is an exploiter carrying the masks of a savior. Seymour was an orphan. Mushnik rescued the boy on the age of 12, solely to reside a lifetime of little one labor and fixed humiliation. (Seymour needs to be grateful!)

Audrey II is in fact the scene-stealing star of the present. If Richard III returns as a man-eating plant, he’ll resemble Derek Coby’s voice characterization. His Audrey II is alternately seductive and terrifying—and all the time manipulative. The voice he provides her is a cross between Wolfman Jack and a Massive Bopper.

Puppeteer David Gaztambide matches the plant’s motion with Coby’s speech — both serpentine or puppy-like, as wanted. If you happen to’re questioning the place this unusual novel goes, don’t be concerned. Caitlin Bowman, Jamila Leandra, and Desiree Tolodzycki clarify all of it. Their trio performs the perform of a Greek refrain. However they do it within the Supremes’ fashion of a 60s lady group, and it is rather more entertaining.

These characters come to life (at the very least briefly) in Isabel and Moriah Curley Clay’s dilapidated (and never very elegant) flower store. Harry Nadal’s early Sixties costumes match the marginalized inhabitants within the musical. (These cats ain’t hip, man. You possibly can inform.) Darren Server’s musical course evokes a pre-Beatles jukebox environment of Menken’s tunes. Choreographer Jim Weaver’s dance kinds circulate with the songs’ groove.

All of it provides as much as a hilarious present.

However this unusual musical comedy has a surprisingly unhappy subtext. It isn’t instantly clear.

“Little Store of Horrors” matches the “Blazing Saddles” mould. Its setting and characters mimic the tropes of a sure style. (A B-grade sci-fi film or a Western, respectively.) Inside these satirical parameters, the musical takes its story critically and doesn’t mock its protagonist. This raises completely satisfied expectations.

Audrey II’s first victims are cartoon bullies who need to be vegan. It doesn’t shed a tear when it’s digested. However Seymour and Audrey are sympathetic characters. Though they’re drawn from the style (the insecure nerd; the million greenback child in five-and-ten-cent phrases), they’re sympathetic and three-dimensional characters. They need to reside fortunately ever after.

The ending of the musical shocked me once I first noticed it. (In FST 1987, in truth). I’ve seen that present a number of instances since then. Realizing what’s going to occur to those characters adjustments the best way I see this musical. A Faustian cut price shouldn’t be a cut price. Likeable or not, Seymour is doomed. Together with the remainder of planet Earth.

This comedy can be a tragedy, my pricey.

However it’s nonetheless very humorous.

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