<bt>Imagine being face to face with a talking plant demanding to be fed human blood. Not only did Seymour Krelbourne, the main character in "Little Shop
of Horrors," have to confront this, but so did the entire Joan C. Bedinger Auditorium at W.T. Woodson High School.
From the underprivileged side of town known as "Skid Row," the young florist Seymour, played by Ryan Fredrickson, nurtures a strange plant to health as he hopes to provide publicity for his shop's dwindling business. When his discovery of a new plant increases his fame, so do his hopes of finally winning the heart of his charming, but ditzy, colleague Audrey from her sadistic dentist boyfriend. Soon enough, the body count rises, as the geeky but lovable Seymour tries to keep up with the diet of the plant (named “Audrey II”).
Although originally penned by Howard Ashman as a screenplay, the show as presented by W.T. Woodson appears as if it were meant only for the stage. The construction of the plant, eventually growing to the size of two full-grown humans, worked flawlessly; this, complemented by a five-person band that carried its weight, established the grounds for an ambiance conducive to the play's desired effect.
Stacy Fullerton, who played Audrey, displayed her talent as a singer and actress by remaining faithful to both Audrey's speech and personality. Her solid performance not only looked good but built a foundation for the other actors to branch off from when interacting with her. This is most evident in the charming duet between her and Seymour when they acknowledge their love for each other. The two truly connected in "Suddenly Seymour."
Yet the best number of the night had to be the jazzy number "Feed Me," sung by Fredrickson and Audrey II, with the voice of Binh Ngo. Audrey II had limited facial expressions, to say the least, but Ngo's vocal talent, both spoken and sung, overcame this and left the audience with a memorable performance. He arguably stole the show.
As Audrey's sadistic boyfriend Orin, Peter Andre earned many a laugh with his effervescent personality induced by his nitrous-oxide addiction. David Lawson, playing Seymour and Audrey's overbearing boss, also deserves kudos for his commitment in portraying the irritable old man.
The musical narration of six girls from Skid Row known as "The Urchins" proved the depth of Woodson's female vocal talent. The gang of girls, with standouts Jill Rizutto and Catalina Lavalle, had attitude and pizazz that enthralled its audience.
If a fun night out with talking plants sounds like your kind of entertainment, join the whole crew at W.T. Woodson High in Fairfax. The "suppertime" continues next Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m.