Little Shop of Horrors at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston

December 16, 2019 | By Jenny Chen

At 140 Clarendon Street, in the intimate and cozy theater of the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, you’ll find director Rachel Bertone’s charming and inviting world of Little Shop of Horrors. The musical performance is brought to life in only a few square feet. Despite the modest stage, the set and cast bring authenticity to each element of the show, easily luring you into Mr. Mushnik’s run-down and “vintage” plant shop.

Photos Courtesy of Lyric Stage Company

Each member of the small cast shines through these well-known characters and grabs the audience from the start. Newcomer Dan Prior, who plays Seymour, captures the clumsy and dorky assistant in a way that makes him lovable and sweet. Katrina Z. Pavao, who plays Audrey, creates the perfect tone of her character’s struggle to escape from an abusive boyfriend and the endless cycle of urban poverty. Pavao accomplishes this through bittersweet songs that are certain to tug on your heartstrings. From the evil, leather-clad dentist (played by Jeff Marcus) to the puppeteering of the bloodthirsty plant that helps fulfill many of Seymour’s wishes, Audrey II (played by Tim Hoover and Yewande Odetoyinbo), each actor brings important elements that breathe life into the show. Finally, you can’t leave the show without marveling at the trio of Chiffon, Crystal, and Ronnete as they light up the stage with their soulful voices and continuous dazzling outfit changes.

 

If you aren’t sucked in already by the spirit of urban Skid Row —the downtown area which the musical takes place — or the endearing love Seymour holds for Audrey, the musical numbers will be the final straw to draw you in completely. Once you hear Pavao perform Somewhere That’s Green, a song about Audrey’s simple wish for a life in suburbia and a partner who treats her with love, you can almost hear every audience member’s heart break at the sound of her sweet and yearning voice. And of course, you can’t forget about Suddenly Seymour, the number where both Seymour and Audrey realize they should be together, because you’ll still be humming it days after the show (my first-hand experience!). 

 

The musical’s blend of rock, 50’s Doo-wop, and 60’s girl groups, remind us why Little Shop of Horrors still remains a timeless and lovable soundtrack that anyone can enjoy. As Audrey II begins to increasingly gain control over Seymour’s life, causing the many benefits it created for Seymour to backfire on him, the show also reminds us of perhaps the most important and enduring warning of the story: Don’t feed the plants! 

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