Foothill Music Theatre’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors” – scheduled to close Sunday in Los Altos Hills – is a fun, if perverse, musical filled with early-1960s-era doo-wop. It’s carried out with nary a hitch by a stellar cast and crew.
The Feb. 21 performance was well done, with just a few quibbles. At times, the fine backing band’s instrumentation overwhelmed the vocals. And I could have done without the bloodstained body parts being fed to the carnivorous plant, which tested the audience’s appreciation for dark humor. Still, that didn’t stop me from having a great time at Foothill College’s Lohman Theatre.
Roger Corman’s original 1960 comedy-horror film, starring the then-unknown Jack Nicholson, has steadily grown in popularity over the years. The story, written by Howard Ashman, didn’t really take off until adapted for the stage in 1982. A 1986 film starring Steve Martin brought more success to the cult classic.
Set in New York’s skid row, plant-loving nerd Seymour (played nicely here by Adam Cotugno) produces a strange specimen of unknown origin. The plant, with its large mouth, or trap, brings good luck to a struggling plant shop. Seymour pines for Audrey (played well by Adrienne Walters), but she is dating a motorcycle-riding, sadistic dentist played with zest by Jeff Clarke. Seymour discovers that the plant feeds only on blood – or anything human. He finds himself satisfying a rapidly growing plant that ultimately swallows up several characters.
I wasn’t drawn to the main characters. No fault of the actors – I just didn’t find them particularly interesting. It was the cast around them that drew me in: Clarke was hilarious as the dentist. The three doo-wop girls present throughout (Lyn Mehe’ula, Melissa Baxter and Megan Coomans) were charismatic and sang beautifully. And, of course, the plant, courtesy of production supervisor Bruce McLeod and his technical crew, was off-the-charts fantastic. Credit goes in part to the plant’s voice, James Devreaux Lewis, and puppeteers David Kirk and Erik Scilley.
Shows are slated 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
For tickets ($10-$28) and more information, call 949-7360 or visit foothillmusicals.com.