Don't miss local talent in Sumter Little Theatre's 'Little Shop of Horrors'

A REVIEW BY JANE COLLIN
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 10/21/18

If you are looking for something to brighten your life, the Sumter Little Theatre production "Little Shop of Horrors" may be just what you need. Opening night's crowd rewarded the actors with plenty of laughter and applause. It is local little …

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Don't miss local talent in Sumter Little Theatre's 'Little Shop of Horrors'

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If you are looking for something to brighten your life, the Sumter Little Theatre production "Little Shop of Horrors" may be just what you need. Opening night's crowd rewarded the actors with plenty of laughter and applause. It is local little theater, but that fact is what makes the play so appealing - amazement that people you may know or may be your neighbors have so much talent.

Under the very capable direction of Eric Bultman, the actors manage to make humorously stereotyped characters come alive with special nuances that provide delicious stage appeal.

Ably cast as Seymour, the bumbling florist shop lackey, Todd Warrick and his hairstyle, glasses and facial expressions bring believability and charm to the role. His voice clearly projects his understanding of the character. As Audrey, the inspiration for Seymour's plant's name and his secret heart's desire, Cierra Stewart and her powerful voice sparkle as the blonde pseudo bimbo. Whether sticking out her tightly clad bottom, walking on super stiletto heels, or lamenting her abusive boyfriend's actions, Stewart is 100 percent the character she portrays. John Michael Osteen plays the Jewish floral shop owner Mushnik with another stereotyped spoofing made even more special with his Yiddish vocal plea, a real scene stealer.

People may have heard David Shoemaker sing and play the drums, as well as recognize him from his technical work for Patriot Hall and Sumter Little Theater; however, as the voice of Audrey II, Shoemaker projects the evil humor of the plant with immense comedic drama. Aaleyah Powell (Chiffon), Jaycie Wisor (Crystal) and Keonna Porter (Ronette) serve as the "Greek Chorus," adding explanation and storyline through their vocals and creative choreography. Alyssa Gibbs' versatility is showcased in her roles as Mrs. Luce, shop customer and down-on-her-luck woman.

Matt Wilt proves once again that he is a man of many talents. In fact, he plays so many characters it is a wonder he has a clue who HE really is. Whether the demented dentist - a role worth the price of admission alone - the derelict, or his other "bit parts," Wilt creates characters worthy of "Saturday Night Live."

The plant Audrey II created for the first production in 2010, is the fabulous creation by Heidi Adler and the technical design of her moving parts is by Michael Duffy. Libby Singleton's choreography adds energy to the music, Sylvia Pickell and Norma Holland deserve special recognition for getting Stewart into her perfectly selected costumes, and the orchestra, under the direction of Linda - music is my life - Beck accentuates the many local skills represented in the production. Sumter's "Little Shop of Horrors" turns local little theater into the special "theatre," a connotation that emphasizes the quality of dedication, time and talent so well integrated in the play.

The play runs through Nov. 3 with 10 performances over those dates. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees are at 3 p.m. For more information, contact SLT at (803) 775-2150.