Green Thumb Gone Wrong

Take a trip down to Skid Row to see a talking, singing, foulmouthed plant at Slow Burn Theatre Co.‘s production of Little Shop of Horrors.

Despite some minor profanity, all ages can enjoy this eccentric musical at West Boca Raton High School’s Performing Arts Theater through June 28, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Make sure to mark these dates on your calendar as this is Slow Burn’s final production in this theater before moving to the Broward Center next season.

Audrey II and Seymour (Mike Westrich) in Slow Burn Theatre Co.’s Little Shop of Horrors

Based on Roger Corman’s 1960 movie, Little Shop was composed by Alan Menken with a book and lyrics by Howard Ashman. The same duo penned the songs for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin.

Seymour Krelborn, a sweet, dorky, hopeless romantic, discovers a peculiar plant while working at Mushnik’s flower shop. He names the creature Audrey II, after his coworker and crush, Audrey. As Seymour, Mike Westrich evolves from a shy, naive flower-shop worker to an outgoing, famous lady-killer—all thanks to the media attention surrounding Audrey II. Despite his shortcomings, one cannot help but pull for Westrich’s Seymour as he always has Audrey’s best interests in mind.

Audrey II’s thirst for blood and world domination creates chaos—as well as many, many laughs. Geoffrey Short lends the plant a deep, jazzy voice à la B.B. King. Rick Peña, Audrey II’s puppeteer, moves the big, mean, green machine to the rhythm of the beat throughout the musical, but with particular panache in the song “Suppertime.” Though the plant roots itself in one spot, Peña enlivens its vines, lurching out toward characters to entice them closer to its mouth.

Amy Miller Brennan plays Audrey, the ditsy blonde with low self-esteem and a quirky sense of humor. Seymour is desperate for her attention, and she eventually reciprocates in the iconic song “Suddenly Seymour.” As a character, Audrey exudes vulnerability, yet Brennan’s booming voice commands the stage.

Shane R. Tanner takes the role of Orin, the local mad dentist and Audrey’s intermittent beau, to a whole new level with his crazy eyes and masochistic tendencies. Once his time as the dentist is complete, Tanner shows his acting versatility with several short appearances as news reporters—and even a reporter’s wife.

The dynamic trio of Crystal, Ronnette, and Chiffon lends a classic doo-wop and R&B feel to the musical. These sassy and soulful women, played by Christina Alexander, Nicole Dikun, and Elisa Danielle, sing and dance their way through the peculiar happenings on Skid Row. Under the guidance of director and choreographer Patrick Fitzwater, the ladies move in and out of the story with ease, providing inner narratives for the characters.

Sean McClelland’s efficient set design captures a ragged downtown scene with a dark color palette to create the perfect backdrop for mayhem.

Slow Burn Theatre Co. uses all of these elements to imbue this well-known musical with unparalleled energy, resulting in powerful ballads and plot twists that will leave you saying “Don’t Feed the Plants.”

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