Director Dallas Henry told the Griffon News last week that “Little Shop of Horrors” would be the best production Western had seen in a long while, and he was absolutely right. It was hard to find any fault in this pitch-perfect production: voices were strong, comic timing was on-point and the dance moves weren’t half-bad either.
Morgan Breckenridge held her own as Audrey, blending her beautiful voice with the nasally voice of her character well. She found a good balance between the comedy in the role and the serious theme of abuse. She absolutely made the audience laugh, but she also brought some real gravity to the role. You felt for her and fell in love with her right alongside Seymour.
When Jacob Mills came on stage as Seymour, the audience could not have been expecting such a powerful voice to come from such a young man. But Mills does have that powerful voice, and he completely takes over the stage every time he opens his mouth. Seymour and Audrey’s signature duet, “Suddenly Seymour,” will absolutely give you goosebumps. Mills is so likeable that you root for his character from the start, which is so important for an underdog story like “Little Shop.” And you will definitely want to see this kid’s tango: just wait for it towards the end of Act I.
In a show chock full of scene-stealers, Kyle Minx takes the cake. He played, by my count, eight different characters. All of them had different voices, mannerisms and personalities. By far the most developed and interesting of these would be the dentist: Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. Minx takes this character from hilarious to downright scary in a second, and his gyrating is not to be missed. Audience members tonight got to see Minx commanding President Vartabedian to say “AH.” That alone was worth the ticket price.
All three of the Doo Wop Girls were outstanding and great fun to watch. The standout Doo Wop, however, is Rachel Cox as Crystal. Her voice is so powerful that it elicited mid-song whoops and applause in only the second song of the show.
Jeff Jones and Steve Catron, as the voice and body of Audrey II, respectively, worked together seamlessly. Jones’ voice was perfect for Audrey II; he showed off his vocal range and allowed his acting skills to really show the menace of the plant. Catron wasn’t visible to the audience until curtain call, and his sweaty appearance then only showed the crowd just how hard he’d been working to entertain them. Catron was doing a job intended for two men inside that plant, and he did an outstanding job. During the entire two-hour show, I only saw one moment where voice and body were not in sync; that is a true accomplishment, especially when considering that Catron and Jones could not see each other and had to perfectly coordinate all performance cues ahead of time, with no room for improvisation.
Everyone on the St. Joe community should go see this show. It is 100 percent worth the time and money. The only complaint I have about the show, actually, is all the issues of the Griffon News that lay crumpled across the stage. I guess I should be glad that they were keeping all those winos warm—better than sitting in the racks all by themselves.