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Little Shop of Horrors
by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken

COMPANY : Southside Theatre Guild [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Southside Theatre Guild [WEBSITE]
ID# 930

SHOWING : April 29, 2004 - May 22, 2004



Crystal Eileen Baldwin
Ensemble Jono Davis
Orin/Chinese Man/Bernstein/Snip-Snap Joey Ellington
Cast Floyd Harinboss
Mr. Mushnik Burt Lyons
Audrey Dina Schwam
Seymour Adam Schwam
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


left a bad taste in my mouth
by Okely Dokely
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Note: this review was originally posted on May 7, 2004. I have just made a few subtle edits. I am posting this disclaimer in case theaterreview still has the annoying glitch where edited reviews re-set the date and bring the review back to the top.

The evening seemed promising enough at the beginning. I arrived in beautiful Fairburn in eager anticipation of my first visit to the Southside Theatre Guild. The space itself is awesome. It has very comfortable seats with stadium seating, and yet it manages to maintain an intimate feeling. About ten minutes until curtain, a �wino� stumbles his way onto the stage and onto a prop bench, all the while sounding like he�s about to cough up several lungs.

The show begins. No musicians � only pre-recorded music, and what I came to suspect to be the RehearScore enhanced to make it sound like a full-band. For it being my first time hearing it in this form, I didn�t know if I was listening to grocery store music, playing The Legend of Zelda, or watching an exercise video. �Feed Me� sounded like an over-produced Shaft remix. This music was all over the place, but very rarely was it good, and it made me realize that I�d rather have just one real musician playing than hear a full imaginary band. The plus side, though, was that no body mics had to be used, so with the exception of the volume going psycho during �Call Back in the Morning,� the sound balance was perfect. I got to hear the intricate harmonies during the big group numbers, and speaking of harmonies, the ensemble nailed the concept of harmony, while the leads got lost on theirs and often had to sing in unison, which is a shame, because I�ve always loved the vocal arrangements on �Closed for Renovation� and �Mushnik and Son.�

The two leads were played by a married couple who had always wanted to play Seymour and Audrey opposite each other, and are returning to the theatre in this production after a hiatus of almost a decade. I don�t know or claim to know the audition situation, and maybe they really were the two best people for the roles, but their performances were mostly sore thumbs, which made me not care for the characters that much. They each had a couple good moments, though: Dina Schwam wisely made her Audrey more of a Kerry Butler than an Ellen Greene, and even though �Somewhere That�s Green� didn�t have any special surprises in staging, she totally sold the number and made me want to go to that little development. Adam Schwam tended to overact, and crooned most of his �Meek Shall Inherit� solo when it was inappropriate to do so. �Suddenly Seymour� was surprisingly devoid of any sweetness and sincerity, and even though it was transposed down a half step, Mrs. Schwam still had to hit many of the high notes in her head voice.

The sets and lighting were nice, but nothing really exciting. I missed the in-your-face, out-of-the-box freshness and originality of South Forsyth High School�s recent Little Shop. The staging was dull and confusingly awkward, the energy was low, and most of the technical tricks were easy to spot. I could see [what looked like] Seymour giving signals to the actor manipulating the little plant during �Grow For Me,� something that looked like a script sticking out of the wings during the show (whatever it was, it shouldn't have been visible), and Audrey clearly moving despite the handicap of being dead. The plant looked great. It was the best plant I�ve ever seen in a live production, although I wish the head hadn�t stayed in its upright position (like the plant in the original 1960 movie) all through Act 1. It doesn�t make A2 that intimidating, and it does nothing to showcase any personality in the character. I didn�t expect a high school�s production to overshadow a community theatre�s production, but don�t it go to show ya never know?
You have no taste..... by RoyBatty
I'm going to use this site to criticize the "critics" who show up at community or high school productions and then commit the absurdity of writing a 'critique' using the medium of this strange, mastubatory website...
The audiences that came to Fairburn to see "Little Shop" loved the show and the theatre did well during the run. THAT is what is important in non-professional theatre....if you can fill the venue every night with paying customers, it follows that unqualified, uneducated, bitchy self-ordained critics are mildly comic....your review was silly, and you even lied about some technical problems. This was a good cast and show, and people enjoyed it.
Wow by JasonMeinhardt
Okay, I have to come to Okely's defense here. And actually to the defense of all of us who give our OPINION on this website. I'm assuming you are in this cast. Okely has always given his best criticism on shows here and tells it how it is. There are a very few on this site that you can trust and he is one of them. Just because he didn't rate your show a '5' (which he has RARELY done), doesn't mean you have to instantly come to the conclusion that he is lying and he is reviewing to feed his "mastubatory" tendencies. Take the criticism for what it is. It was very constructive, unlike some that simply say "This show sucks, the cast sucks, blah blah blah". He gave you things to look at, to improve on, etc. Run with it. But I'm sure, as one of the "self flagellating" critics, I'm just trying to protect my own oversized ego. ;)
be a little more professional by andy
RoyBatty, I have to agree with Jason on this one. I have done plenty of community theatre and even though we may fill the house and everyone says they love it, there can always be stuff to work on. When you get a critique, you can't get pissed when you don't agree with it, otherwise you are in the wrong business! I would think you would want different opinions and criticisms, but I guess thats what makes a professional different from an immature...I mean amateur. Not only that but the dates of this show say it was in May, are you just now seeing this review?
Are you kidding me, really?? by jordan34
You have to have better things to do with your time then repost a review from 2004 because you wanted to make edits.
Like I said by Okely Dokely
I didn't intend for it to be re-posted on the front page. I made done edits because I felt bad about the way I worded some things, so I wanted to sound more diplomatic and fair, in case somebody stumbled on the review again. Theaterreview apparently still has the annoying glitch where edited reviews rise back to the top.

No harm intended, sincerely.
Little Shop of Horrors - Both Good and Not So Good
by bwayboy367
Monday, October 2, 2006
I'm a personal friend of Adam and Dina Schwam's daughter, Marissa. We do theatre together, and I was just cast in the professional production of Little Shop of Horrors. Naturally I freaked out and asked them if I could see their play.

Now to the play:
I have heard the music for Little Shop, of course, and when I watched this video, I felt the music was rushed.

Numbers that were rushed:
"Feed Me (Git it)" - It's supposed to be kind of fast, but not too fast, this was just slightly faster than I would've liked.
"Now (It's Just the Gas)" - This was rushed very much. Also, I didn't feel like any real emotion in this song, but Joey Ellington (Orin) and his laughing was hilarious.
"Suddenly Seymour" - Not too rushed, but it should've been a song that's speed could've been controlled by the actors.
"ACT 1 Finale" - Not so much rushed, but what happened to the end. We got Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon's solos, but what about the Little Shop theme with the plant laughing.
"Somewhere That's Green (Reprise)" - I just that if it had been slower, more emotional effects could've been there, but I could still tell that Seymour was about to die with Audrey.

Numbers that I loved:
"Little Shop of Horrors" - Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon kicked butt on their three part harmony, on this song, while I missed the random riffing as with the movie, I still loved this song.
"Skid Row" - The soloist (Crystal) at the beginning was absolutely amazing. I love Ms. Baldwin to death, and she nailed everything you could've nailed on this song. Also, the harmony at the end was very good.
"Grow for Me" - Mr. Schwam can sing his butt off! Frankly, I'm nervous about performing as Seymour because Mr. Schwam is amazing!
"Somewhere That's Green" - I love Ms. Dina! Aaah! Beautiful! Frankly, Okely Dokely no "SPECIAL STAGING" was needed for this song. She was perfect, on pitch, and sold the song!
"Call Back in the Morning" - I loved the staging for this song, especially in the end. Although, I wished they had done the harmony and had sung it faster I still loved it!

Okay, so I loved this show! I can't wait to do it! Come see it!

2 things by Okely Dokely
1. Re: Somewhere That's Green. That's what I was saying. We are in agreement there. I thought it was one of the high points of the production. I had recently seen another production of LSOH where they had the most brilliant and creative staging during this song where two dancers acted out what Audrey was singing about through melodramatic interprative dance. There was none of that in STG's (the theater) version of STG (the song), but it was just fine without it, because Dina sold the song.

2. Where are you doing LSOH? You're gonna love it. I've done it twice and it's been a very special experience for me both times.
In Response to Okley Dokley by bact615
Okley Dokley it's bwayboy367 i forgot the password to that one, but i remembered this one! I'm doing LSOH at the YMCA in Fayetteville, GA on May 31, June 1, 2, 3. Try and come see it. It's going to be an amazing show!

The show will be put on entirely by high-schoolers, but will be performed as a professional dinner theatre show so it'll be really cool!

Seymour: Brent Davis (That's Me)
Audrey: Caitlin Wade
Mr. Mushnik: Michael Reep
Orin, the Dentist: Levi Gentry
Crystal: Lizzie Spratt
Ronette: Stephanie Earle
Chiffon: Sarah Stitt

Ensemble: Maria DeCotis, Hannah Lewis, Hannah Herndon, Curtis Legaspi, Scott Eldridge, Tad Durden, McKenna Ceci, and Anna Marie Smith

It'll be an amazing show, with an amazing cast!!! I really hope you can come!
Self-ordained critics on this website warrant no attention....
by RoyBatty
Thursday, November 18, 2004
I just read Okely Doke--whatever...(very cute)'s review of the Southside Theatre production of "Little Shop of Horrors", and would like to post this for anyone in the cast that might read Oky's meaningless drivel....

It was a great show...the audiences responded, and the cast had fun. Period.

People who show up on this site reviewing high school or community productions are yakking-off...very few 'professional' critics have any true validity as anything more than cynical writers filling out a paid position at a magazine or newspaper....try to remember that, especially on this site, where these erstwhile 'critics' do not even get their real name posted...and YES, that includes this writer. However, I recognize the silliness, bitchiness and school-girl hysteria of wanting to diss people who at least can pass auditions and get in a show, unlike some of the "critics" on this strange website... [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
by JasonMeinhardt
Whoops, sorry, I have to chime in on this one too. I didn't see this review earlier. But again, Okely has pretty much made it known who he is. So let me ask you, since you are obviously in this show, is it better for the people who ARE NOT in the show to give an average review, or for the actors themselves to give their own show a GLOWING review?
And to you sir by hunh??!!
Have you seen the show sir? And what did you think?
And to you sir by hunh??!!
Have you seen the show sir? And what did you think?
No "sir" by JasonMeinhardt
I never claimed to have seen the show. That is why I didn't comment on it. I commented on the insult to Okely (who is a friend of mine) and defending those reviewers who actually take time to form their OPINIONS and are not biased in any way, shape, or form. I'm just curious as to why these negative feelings towards Okely's review come out 6 months after the show closed.
please by andy
I have to chime in as well. You are giving this show a 4 when it has been closed for this long? And Okley has been in several shows. About 4 even since your show closed. Some have even been at professional theatres. Roy, if this is a "strange website", why are you on it? and if it's "meaningless drivel", why do you take it seriously?
This is the silliest thing I've read on here in a while. by mooniemcmoonster
First off...thanks for the laugh this morning, Batty. "People who show up on this site reviewing high school or community productions are yakking-off..." Um...I don't know if you realize this but the purpose of this site is to review theatre in Atlanta. Its called "Theatre Review". I think maybe you're a little too thin skinned for this vocation. Instead of getting upset about a bad review why not use the criticism in a positive way to better yourself? Not everyone is going to like what you do...that's a fact of life.
.... by hunh??!!
I agree that this site is set up for people to review theatre. I have seen the show and thought it was very good. It just appears that some of these comments are personal attacks.
by JasonMeinhardt
I"m sorry, "hunh", but these are not personal attacks. Look back on past shows (Blood Brothers and Foreigner at Kudzu Playhouse, I believe Father of the Bride at Cumming Attractions, etc. etc.). THOSE had personal attacks. If you are insinuating that Okely's reviews contained personal attacks, then I suggest you go back and read them again. To echo "moonie's" statement...this is silly. I recently had a conversation with a fellow actor during an audition about this site. THIS is why it has lost its credibility and become a site for entertainment. Not information.
... by hunh??!!
Listen Jason. No need to lose your cool and get snippy. I am simply added my thoughts to a conversation. Like I said, I have seen the show and just recently discovered this website. Being "Little Shop" was the last show I have seen, I decided to look and see if there were any comments about the show. I was simply saying the show was good and the comments made did not seem accurate.
Who p***ed on your Cheerios? by Boozy McLiverdamage
Sweet Tap Dancin' Jesus, what did Okeley ever do to you? And besides, it's "whacking," not yakking. I have to say that the one fair reviewer who is thorough and calls it like he sees it is Okeley. Is there nepotism on this site and people playing favorites? Well, yeah. That's pretty obvious. Are there biased reviews? No question about it, and they're biased both ways. Okeley is actually the one reviewer who gives a credible review of a show. The rest of the site is now reduced to recipe swapping and squabbling, which is great, I feel like I'm in high school again, and I liked high school....but anyway....let's talk BCS....Auburn or Oklahoma? Let's hear it....ROSWELL, ALPHARETTA, JONESBORO, LILBURN, STONE MOUNTAIN, REACT TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wow by Girl
Sorry this is so long. I just wanted to address a number of things said. Bare with me here. (I really wish the comments supported line breaks. This would be so much easier to read if it did.)

In response to RoyBatty's original comment:

1) I think that you and Okely may have different ideas as to what is important in community theater. From a business standpoint, yes, selling seats is the goal. From a community standpoint, entertaining your audience is the goal. However, from the personal standpoint of those involved in the show (actors, directors, tech, etc.), the goal should be for them to grow in their craft and learn more about what they love to do. In this "business" you have to be able to look at any criticism or praise you get, consider it in context, and decide whether or not it is worth addressing in your performance. That's how people grow.

2) To say that Okely "lied about some technical problems" seems highly unlikely to me. I have never known him to purposely lie in a review. He may have noticed things that 99% of the rest of the audience didn't (which happens a lot), or he may have seen a few technical problems in the performance he saw that did not occur at any other time. Either way, this is what he thought he saw, and the techies were given the option to consider whether or not they were true or problematic enough to warrant change.

In response to RoyBatty's new "review":

3) Again, it is great that the audience responded and the cast had fun. That makes an enjoyable night / run for all. But that does not, by any stretch of the imagination, make a show "great." (See Andy's comment.)

4) Okely reviews these shows because he enjoys it. Being a fan of theater, when he's not doing a show he is constantly seeing them. He enjoys writing these reviews, sharing his opinion, attempting to educate others who are continuing to see the shows, and giving the actors some honest feedback. He does not do so ever assuming his opinion is the only correct one (see review and comments following his review of Richard II at Shakespeare Tavern). Additionally, he has on several occasions been specifically asked to review shows by visitors to this site. So apparently not everyone thinks his words are "meaningless drivel."

5) Just to clarify, Okely is far from a "professional critic." As nice as that money would be, he happens to write reviews for this site just for the fun of it.

6) If you read Okely's past reviews you will see that he doesn't make point of "dissing" people. He nearly always has something good to say about a show, and in the majority of his reviews (at least to my recollection) has good things to say about at least some, if not most, of the cast.

7) Okely has been very open in his real name. He is Mark Schroeder, and does a lot of theater around the city. Last night he opened 1940's Radio Hour at Theater In The Square in Marietta. If that doesn't prove to you that he "can pass auditions and get into a show," other show's he's done this year include Titanic: In Concert and Pippin at Onstage Atlanta, La Cage Aux Folles at Neighborhood Playhouse, and Forever Plaid at Kudzu Playhouse. That has never been a secret. Likewise, I have not hidden the fact that I am Emily Jerome, his girlfriend.

And finally, in response to hunh??!!'s comment:

7) It is incredibly unlikely that Okely said any of these things as "personal attacks" when, at least as far as I know, he has never met any of the people in this show. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

If anyone made it this far I will send you a shiny new dime.
Oops by Girl
And I look like and idiot. I guess comments do support line breaks forgive me.
Well here we are again... by Parrott65
It saddens me to read statements from folks who can't take constructive criticism. I am another one that is coming to the defense of Okely Dokely. His reviews are, quite frankly, taken as though he might know what he is talking about. You see, Roy, you have to EARN your reputation on this site. It's credibility is hanging in the balance as we speak, because of individuals that come here to "downgrade" other individual's opinions. I for one think that Okely is one heck of a reviewer and probably had some good points to make about the show you were in. I mean, hey, I was one of the three little pigs in kindergarten, with the entire audience "responding and having fun by all". Yet, that didn't constitute a Tony winning production. So, take a chill pill and earn your rep here.
As to Boozy's question . . . by cathead67
Oklahoma baby, all the way. Boomer Sooner! As to the rest of the comments, I think they're not worthy of reply. There, enough said.
Wow indeed by Okely Dokely
Sounds like I've caused even more ruffled feathers. Well, I'd like to send out a blanket thank you to all who got my back on this. I appreciate all your kind words and I hope to continue to be a useful contributor to this site. To Roy: I'm not sure what I was "mistaken" about (not "lied"). To me, lying means intentionally not telling the truth, but you are obviously involved with the theatre, or at least with this production, if you know I was wrong about something. Maybe I was - I don't claim to know everything, but you can't even expect the AJC to be correct all the time. I once corrected Roger Ebert on a factual error. Also, it sounds like you don't like it that I gave your show a less than glowing review, and I also get the impression that you don't like the fact that critics exist, which I can understand how someone could have that position, even though I disagree with it. If this is the case, I might recommend you not read anything on this site anymore, especially if something written more than 6 months ago gets you as worked up as this seemed to. I was merely REVIEWing THEATER.

I didn't think it was a terrible show - in fact I mentioned some positive things. Think of it this way - I gave your theater some business. I came as a patron and paid money. I liked the venue, and I will probably be back. I just thought that STG's LSOH was a bit underwhelming, probably because I was blown away by a high school production of it not long before I saw your production. I didn't mean to make any personal attacks - since I didn't and don't know anybody in that cast, I'm not sure how it would be possible anyway.

I think I touched on everything I wanted to. I long for the day when people don't take things so personally. My recipe well is unfortunately tapped dry.
by JasonMeinhardt
I do not recall getting "snippy". Just defending the integrity of Okely and the other reviewers. But yes, the insinuation that Okely lied and is throwing personal attacks is absurd and deserved to be called on. Boozy...good to see you know who i'm for: War Damn Eagle baby!
by brianbascle
Emily, Kudzu will give you my mailing address...I'd like my dime, please. All the best. BB


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