Review: MidAmerica’s “Little Shop of Horrors”

Review: MidAmerica's

Kayli Slayden, Staff Writer

From November 15-18, MidAmerica Nazarene University performed Little Shop of Horrors at the Bell Cultural Events Center on campus.

The musical, based on the film by Roger Corman, was written by Alan Menken, with the lyrics supplied by Howard Ashman. It tells the tale of Seymour Krelborn, an entertaining and endearing character who stumbles across a strange breed of flytrap. After purchasing the flytrap, he dubs it “Audrey II,” so-named for his crush and coworker. For weeks, Seymour struggles to keep the plant alive and healthy. No gardening technique seems to work, until one day, when Seymour accidentally pricks his finger on a rose thorn. To his surprise, Audrey II perks up as blood oozes out of the small wound. It seems like an innocent, if strange, method of feeding a plant at first, but Seymour can’t sustain Audrey II with his own blood forever. As you can guess, this quickly spirals downhill.

Directed by Heather Tinker, the show received an extensive amount of applause, and rightfully so: the cast, crew, and orchestra were in superior performance condition.

Dalton Hayse’s portrayal of Seymour gave the more-than-slightly morbid show a comical edge, and the vocals of Allyson Tinker’s Audrey Fulquard had the entire audience spellbound from the beginning.

Most entertaining of all, perhaps, was Cally Beckman’s performance as the malicious, man-eating flytrap, Audrey II. Cally’s character was originally written for a male’s voice, yet this gave her the opportunity to bring a new vocal style to the table.

From the actors/actresses on stage, crew backstage, and the members of the orchestra, the entire company produced an unforgettable show. As someone who’d been listening to the musical’s soundtrack for a while, I was very impressed with the production. The lines were delivered with precision and personality, bringing a little light to the dark undertones. Every musical number from the prelude to the finale was a joy to watch and listen to, and the entertaining show was presented in its entire glory.