Little Shop of Horrors is Playing at ADMU This August!

If you've been a reader of Write, Breathe, Live for quite some time, you probably know by now how much I enjoy watching theater productions. As long as I can squeeze them in my often hectic schedule, I seldom say no when I get invited to watch press previews because I really love seeing stories unfold live before my eyes.

When I got an invite to see Ateneo Blue Repertory's Little Shop of Horrors, I initially hesitated because it's a long commute from our house in Alabang to Katipunan. I also had no idea where the Fine Arts theater is in Ateneo. But then, my love for theater kicked in and I said yes. I waited for my youngest son to come home from school and tagged him along so I'd have someone with me even if we went home late. I am so glad we came!

Little Shop of Horrors is a delightful production despite the dark story. I kept thinking "What a talented bunch of young people!" throughout the duration of the play. Indeed, all the performers deserve two thumbs up each for successfully entertaining us with their acting skills and their nicely-executed song numbers.

Luis Marcelo convincingly played the shy and kind-hearted Seymour who, oddly, reminded me of the RENT character Mark Cohen played by Fredison Lo in the last three runs. Perhaps it was the eyeglasses and the geeky look? :p Also,I liked all the clothes and accessories that Maronne Cruz (who played Audrey) wore. Very stylish!

Tina Ramos, who represents the man-eating plant a.k.a. Audrey II, has a very powerful voice that blew us away. I find it funny that Mr. Mushnik (played by Darrell Uy) has an Einstein-ish hairstyle but it does add more character to the flower shop owner's miserly and grumpy nature.  

I have to applaud Gelo Lantaco for playing Orin Scrivello and a motley of characters throughout the whole show. It must be confusing to switch from character to character but he handles the transitions well. The trio composed of Roxci de Leon, Cassie Manalastas, and Abi Sulit adds to the story's charm and keeps audiences entertained with their nice blend of voices and funny "black" accents.

In the souvenir program's Director Notes, Toff de Venecia aptly describes what the production is all about. "In essence, Little Shop is a black comedy musical which pokes fun of death while maintaining the seriousness of the matter ... as the Absurdist would say, in that man has accepted that he is limited and the universe is unlimited, that he will never really know the meaning of the universe but he journeys towards knowing anyway." Profound! :)

One of the songs I really liked in the show is the melancholic "Somewhere That's Green". Although I found it a bit sad how Audrey ended up, the story effectively shares with the audience the reality of comprises. That sometimes, there are things many of us can't escape from even if we wanted to.  I like how Toff explains it, "That when Audrey sings of Somewhere That's Green, you know she'll never really get there, but because she has made peace with [the] circumstances of her folly, she may just find herself somewhere (else) that's green."

So yes, Little Shop of Horrors will make you smile and laugh but you'll also shed a few tears for the things that might have been for each of the memorable characters. It's a nice roller-coaster ride of emotions brought to you by some of the best rising rising talents in theater whom, I think, I would also see in one or more of the big theater companies in the future.

Congratulations Toff de Venecia, the cast, and the artistic and creative teams for coming up with a very entertaining show!

Little Shop of Horrors runs from August 10-27 at the Fine Arts Theater, 3/F Gonzaga Bldg. Ateneo de Manila University. Show times are Wednesdays to Saturdays at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees at 2pm. Just contact Mica Fajardo at 0917.8908795 for tickets.

For more photos, please check out the LSOH album in this blog's Facebook page.
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