Little Shop of Horrors 

Four stars
Indianapolis Civic Theatre at Marian College; directed by Brent E. Marty

A down-and-out florist hungers for a little attention and before you know it, he’s consumed by bloodlust and aliens have taken over the world. In 1982, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (before Beauty and the Beast) turned this 1960 horror film into a musical spoof that goes down like soda pop, sweet and bubbly with an afterglow dark and heavy. The skinny, gawky hero (Scot Greenwell), the battered bombshell (Mikayla Anne Reed) and the purposely clunky lyrics all are made smooth and shiny with doo-wop and back-up singers who shimmy with girl-group finesse. Gloomy urban defeat was never as catchy as in “Skid Row (Downtown).” Suburban idealism was never so sad as in “Somewhere That’s Green.” Two shattered egos never had such hope as in “Suddenly, Seymour.” Beyond the heart string moments, Little Shop is mostly man-eating plant puppet fun. Director Brent E. Marty and his small, smart cast keep the right brisk pace. The set is artful and streamlined, the choreography simple and snappy. The intermission, however, should arrive earlier, and the sound designer should turn down the volume and the reverb. They make it more difficult to enjoy the gifted singer-actors. Before you bring the kids, decide if they can handle vegetable violence and sadistic dentistry. Through Sept. 28; 317-923-4597.

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