Opening performances of the Windham Center Stage production of Little Shop of Horrors, the dark musical comedy that played to a near packed auditorium on Saturday, rated high with audiences last weekend.
Director Jonathon Miele said opening week was very successful.
“The set and the performers were polished and ready. Everybody was so prepared. And the audiences just raved about the show.”
Little Shop, a rock horror musical adapted from a 1960 film, is the story of an out of luck floral shop worker, Seymour Krelborn, who nurtures a strange plant that prefers human flesh and blood instead of plant food. The talking flower convinces Krelborn to feed it in return for the promise of a prosperous life with the girl of his dreams. But as the bodies start to disappear, he realizes that pitcher-like plant has its green tentacles set on a botanical take-over of the world.
Little Shop, whether on Broadway, in film or local theater has attracted a faddish devotion of followers for over 50 years. Part of its cult-like charm lies in the satire. The show pokes fun at science fiction, B movies, musical comedy and itself.
Audiences delight in the geek chorus, young ladies performing songs in doo wop and early Motown that tell the story and emphasize action scenes.
The cast is drawn from several towns, which also attracts a diverse audience that Miele hopes will lead to a regional mix of talent and collaboration in future shows. “We’re building a following,” he observed.
At the conclusion of the show, audience members line up to have their pictures taken with the giant plant. Miele says those pictures are now “all over Facebook.” And, one theater goer observed that no one was consumed in the process.
For Miele, who also choreographs the show, and who has performed in musicals in New York, is a legendary performer in the Windham area. The show represents a personal milestone, of sorts.
“I performed minstrel shows on that (Windham Town Hall) stage when I was four (years old).” He said he remembers dancing with his brother and others to the Hokey-Pokey.
“I’ve come full circle.”
The final three shows of Little Shop of Horrors will be Friday and Saturday (Oct. 21st and 22nd) at 7 p.m., and Sunday the 23rd at 4:00 p.m. at the Windham Town Hall Auditorium. Call 893-2098 for more information.
The doo wop girls provide campy back-up songs in Little Shop. From left to right Sophie Urey, Rachel Scala, Mallory Evans, Victoria Chase, Meghan Reidy.
The cast: left, Giovan Corsetti as dentist Orin Scrivello; back right, Nathan Bachner as cranky Mr. Mushnik; kneeling, Miles Obrey as Seymour Krelborn; seated in plant, Brooke Papineau as Seymour's love interest.