Arts musical review

Plants, blood and lots of singing

MTG engages audiences with Little Shop of Horrors

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MIT’s Musical Theater Guild gave this year’s final performance of Little Shop of Horrors last weekend.

What could be more innocent than a musical that takes place in a flower shop? Well, a flesh-eating Venus flytrap, a psychotic dentist, and a name like “Little Shop of Horrors” certainly rules out any hope for a light-hearted show. The musical, based on the film by Roger Corman, follows a florist named Seymour, who tries to revive his flower shop by raising a Venus flytrap that lives off human blood.

Presented by the MIT Musical Theater Guild (MTG) and directed by Greg Lohman ‘07, the IAP production of Little Shop of Horrors was another wonderful reminder of the artistic talent of the Institute’s students. All of the work on the show happened during the four weeks of IAP, culminating in six performances during the first week of February. Starring David Wright (as Seymour) and Noelle A. Colant ’17 (as Audrey), the small eight-person cast pulled off an engaging, darkly comedic performance.

Highlights included the songs “Skid Row” (by the Company), “Mushnik and Son,” and “Now (It’s Just The Gas),” along with spectacular acting performances by Wright, Colant, Jonathan Sue-Ho ’13 (as Mr. Mushnik), Hubert Hwang ’07 (as Orin). The trio of doo-wop singers, Varsha J. Raghavan ’14, Marian J. Heman-Ackah ’16, and Mackenzie E. Devoe ’15, sang with an impressive harmony — a feat that only achieved by hours of practice.

When asked what the most challenging component of the musical was, producer Sami Lewis ’15 explained that making the Venus flytraps required intensive planning by their designers, Karen A. Hart ’14, and Kathryn E. Shroyer ’09. “All of the plants took many hours to build, even with everyone lending a hand. They are the show’s main technical challenge, but MTG members enjoy the opportunity to combine their creative and engineering skills.”

All in all, I highly recommend watching an MTG performance in the future. The guild performs four times a year (spring, summer, fall and IAP), and it is starting to put together its spring show, Sweeney Todd. It will be another dark musical, but I look forward to seeing the production in a few months.