Singin in the Rain and Little Shop of Horrors. Two very different shows, but both had a lot in common. One's a classic, one is more adult, but when they announced the line-up this season, these two were the ones I was looking forward to the most. I had seen Singin in the Rain a few years ago at the Muny and loved it; and saw Horrors at Stages in Kirkwood and immediately fell in love with it. I had high expectations.... and of course, they were
First, Singin in the Rain:
I'll get to the dancing right away, since that was a request from Kristin and Kelsey. I'll be honest... I think they should have spent a little more time rehearsing. They weren't always together, and this is coming from someone that isn't even into the drill team, perfect synchronization thing (anymore). But you can't really go wrong with Gene Kelly-inspired choreography, can you? And there was a lot of tap dancing, which is always a plus.
Also, the sets. Wowza. Usually at the Muny it is predictable - there are one or two big backdrops and a couple smaller ones, and then props/furniture on stage. If you're really lucky, you get a big moving ship or something special. But for Singin in the Rain, I couldn't even tell where these backdrops were coming from. Almost every one was different! Better than Legally Blonde, where the classroom doubled as a dorm room doubled as a court room...
And speaking of sets, there is no better moment of 'Muny Magic' than the singing in the rain scene. Seeing the actor dance around in the puddles on stage is always worth sitting there in the heat and I love being surrounded by people seeing it for the first time (a little girl sitting in front of us exclaimed to her mom, 'That's real water!?').
Moving on to Little Shop of Horrors (not to be confused with Rocky Horror Picture Show. Apparently, a lot of people think they're the same thing).
In Horrors, the hero is a hapless florist, his damsel in distress is a semi-skanky coworker, and the villians are a man-eating plant and a dentist. Yes, a dentist. It's hilarious.
I can't say enough good things about this musical - the plot is genius; the music (rock / motown-inspired) will be stuck in your head for days; the puppetry is a delight; and I'm a sucker for deep voices (legendary Ken Page was the voice of Audrey II). Another one of those that is great with first-timers to see the shock on their faces the first time you see the plant move, or talk, or eat someone.
Just two shows left this season - Seven Brides for Seven Brothers this week and Bye Bye Birdie next. Check out my other reviews - of Legally Blonde, Little Mermaid and Kiss Me, Kate - here.