The Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre and Director Mark D. Lefeber are staging a 6 show run of the musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken beginning Friday June 23rd through Sunday July 2nd at the little theater on 219 N. Spring Street.
This cult classic is exotic, entertaining and will devour your heart…and most of the cast.
This show experienced an interesting climb to popularity. Debuting in 1960 as a B rated film featuring a then little known actor Jack Nicholson, the story drew a cult following after being broadcast on television which launched an Off Broadway musical production, that launched the 1980 feature film starring Rick Moranis as Seymour and Steve Martin as Dr. Orin Scrivello which launched the Broadway musical revival in 2003.
Most stories have a protagonist and an antagonist. This compelling story is a dark comedy featuring a young antihero named Seymour who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks finding fame, fortune and the love of the woman of his dreams, Audrey. However, this character is sometimes listed as the protagonist, because he overcomes many obstacles like Skid Row, his near slave master employer Mr. Mushnik and the evil doctor who is abusing the woman of his dreams.
However, this success comes at great personal cost. All of which will unfold as the story line progresses.
Director Lefeber and his crew took to heart the word Area in BDACT. They have cast 26 actors plus orchestra and crew from 9 different area High Schools including Sun Prairie, Beaver Dam, Horicon, Columbus, Markesan, Wayland Academy, Portage, Watertown and Randolph.
Particularly well cast are the main characters of Seymour, Audrey and Mr. Mushnik.
Seymour Krelborn is confidently and capably played by BDACT newcomer, yet stage veteran Reese Clostermery from Sun Prairie. Reese shows great range as the stumbling clerk, the lovelorn suitor of Audrey, the confident plant expert and finally the guilt ridden man who does what he thinks he must do to keep his dreams and a blood thirsty plant alive.
Audrey is played by Columbus HS graduate Cleo Reynolds. The character of Audrey requires an actress with a specific look and sound and the ability to stand out as a solo singer. Cleo meets all of these criteria. Her duet “Suddenly Seymour” with Reese at the beginning of Act 2 is one of my favorite musical numbers and this rendition did not disappoint. This is Cleo’s second BDACT main stage production; she was a Hot Box Dancer in the 2016 summer musical “Guys and Dolls”.
Mr. Mushnik is played by Akshay Kalra. His baritone voice betrays the fact that he will be a Junior at BDHS next fall. Akshay’s duet “Mushnik and Son” with Reese is wonderfully choreographed by Georgia Roth and beautifully played tongue in check by both actors.
Two Doo Wop girls and BDACT veterans Brienna Landsness and Mina Kianovsky were both cast in the fall 2016 BDACT production of Godspell. Two cast members are veterans of BDACT’s young actor development program Tell A Tale including; Annie Friedl, and Lucas Smith. The remaining cast comes to BDACT for the first time via their local high school music and theater departments.
The ensemble works vocally and Lefeber uses much of the auditorium and every inch of the stage to creatively block 26 actors in the little theater on Spring Street. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a classic tale, with great music played well by an orchestra pit of four members.
Performances are June 23, 24, 30, 31 and July 1 at 7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00 pm. Plus matinees on June 25 and July 2 at 2:00 pm, doors open at 1:30 pm.
Great tickets remain for all 6 performances and can be purchased the following methods:
At Rechek’s Food Pride in Beaver Dam. 920-887-7675.
At the door.