Little Shop of Horrors Review - Lyric Stage Co. of Boston

Dan Prior, Lovely Hoffman, Carla Martinez, Pier Lamia Porter | Photo: Mark S. Howard
Kobi Kassal
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September 3, 2019 8:00 PM

The Lyric Stage Company opened their 45th season with the cult-classic, Little Shop of Horrors, which continues to delight audiences of all ages.  

Little Shop is having a bit of a renaissance right now, with many high-profile productions happening all over the country.  On the West Coast, Amber Riley and MJ Rodriguez are taking on these iconic roles, and an off-Broadway production is opening soon starring the effervescent Jonathan Groff. The show has been on our mind since we saw a beautiful staging of it at the Cape Playhouse earlier this summer. The man-eating plant has finally made its way back to Boston and is taking over the Lyric Stage seven performances a week!

In this production, Katrina Z Pavao assumes the role of Audrey with a very classic take. While I could have done without the wig, Pavao makes the role her own, while still bringing nuance to this flawed character. Her counterpart is the lovely Dan Prior as nerdy Seymour Krelborn. I enjoyed Prior’s dedication to the role, and his upper register provided some lovely notes which I appreciated. Much like the production out on the Cape, the man-eating plant was played by a woman—the fantastic Yewande Odetoyinbo. With powerhouse vocals, Odetoyinbo really brings down the house, or should I say, flower shop.  No plant is complete without its puppeteer—kudos to Tim Hoover for maneuvering it adeptly.  

In his Mr. Mushnik, Boston and Lyric favorite Remo Airaldi turned what is usually a throwaway character into a comedic high point of the show. Jeff Marcus portrayed among the best versions of Orin, the dentist, I have seen in recent memory. His comedic timing and arrogance conducted a deliciously evil character which I would have gladly consumed more of.  The Urchins are comprised of Lovely Hoffman, Carla Martinez, and Pier Lamia Porter. Their tight harmonies and stellar costumes (and wigs) are truly a feast for all senses.

Dan Prior, Katrina Z Pavao with Audrey II | Photo: Mark S. Howard

Janie E. Howland has once again designed a stunning set for the Lyric that takes your breath away. Given the intimate layout of the theatre, every seat feels like the audience is in the shop as this plant comes alive. I also must commend Cameron McEachern for exquisite puppet design. Rounding out the creative team is Rachel Bertone as director and choreographer, Dan Rodriguez as music director, Marian Bertone as costume designer, Franklin Meissner, Jr. as lighting designer, and Andrew Duncan Will as sound designer.  The Lyric has started the Boston theatre season off strong and I can’t wait for the rest of their season to see what they do next.

⭐⭐⭐ 3 Stars

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is playing at the Lyric Stage Company now until October 6th.  Get tickets here:

*This article originally appeared on Theatre Talk Boston.

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Kobi Kassal

Hailing from sunny South Florida, Kobi Kassal founded Theatrely (formerly Theatre Talk Boston) while attending Boston University. He is an avid theatre attender and can be found seeing a performance most nights of the week (in normal times!) He is interested in the cross section of theatre, popular culture, hospitality, and politics. He also loves a good bagel!

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