THEATRE REVIEW: Little Shop of Pleasures

Little Shop of Horrors premieres at the Westchester Broadway Theatre.


Last night the curtain rose on the Westchester Broadway Theatre's Little Shop of Horrors. Though the musical has been performed countless times—with stars ranging from cinema-nerd Rick Moranis to N*SYNCer Joey Fatone—the show still managed to feel as crisp as fresh-cut flowers.

The production is truly, excuse the phrase, a home-grown one. Patricia Wilcox, the show's director, hails from Ardsley. She returns to the Westchester Broadway Theatre after directing last year's winner Aida (my personal favorite of all the WBT musicals—I do hope they bring it back). Wilcox is back in fine form negotiating her way through a musical that juggles a traditional underdog-love-story, campy '50s-style musical numbers, man-plant duets, and one totally deranged do-wop dentist.

Yet for all the big production values, it's one of the musical's smaller moments that really impress. In "Suddenly Seymour"—a musical number with no R&B vocals, larger-than-life puppetry, or sci-fi special effects—actors Eric Santagata (Seymour) and Julie Connors (Audrey) dazzled audiences with just their powerful, soaring vocals. It's no wonder the opening-night crowd responded with thunderous cheers.

But there's one other thing about the show that we couldn't help but notice. In "Somewhere That's Green," the musical lays out its image of success: Seymour and Audrey dream of escaping the urban skid row for a world where people have uniformly developed housing stock, meticulously manicured lawns, and all the big-ticket appliances and electronics they can afford. Hey, that sounds a lot like Westchester!

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