I had my doubts that he could pull it off. But he did. Robert Reid Goodson, Director of Tift Theatre for Performing Arts, scores big time with Little Shop of Horrors. The casting is spot-on and the talent is rousing.
The musical of dark comedy and sci-fi revolves around a slew of people, all in need of some intense psychiatric counseling.
Young nerdy Seymour, played by Johnny Fletcher, is swoony in love with Audrey (Alena Phillips), a ditzy blonde whose boyfriend is a sadistic, narcissistic, biker dentist. Audrey and Seymour share pathetically low self esteems and work for the same loud, craggy florist, Mr. Mushnik (John Fletcher).
A spicy, sassy, hip-swaying trio of Tomekia Reese, Alyson Ireland, and Jaida Hickey struts their stuff and pulls out the vocals as the street urchins. They are downright sultry.
In the shadows of the stage, Greg Millette, Jon Randall, Garrett Newell, and Clay Sanders perform rocking music with unbelievable ease, the kind of music that causes a rhythmic itch to run up and down the leg.
Patrick Ireland as Orin the dentist is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Johnny Fletcher is a darned good actor. John Fletcher is perfectly cast as the shop owner. The urchins are grooving. BUT, BUT, BUT—I suppose there is always a “but” in a review. But . . . the standout performance goes to the blood-hungry plant, Audrey II. Antonio M. Jones rocks the house as the lungs behind the plant. His voice is earth-shattering, mighty, and powerful, a blended sound one might imagine coming from Samson of the Old Testament Bible, an inner city thug, and a dynamic singer of spirituals. Audrey II—the plant— will give you the shivers and make you long for more.
Ask the cast and crew what they think of working with Director Robert Reid Goodson and they will tell you he is a professional who aims to put on the best show possible while having fun doing it. He is a giver, not a taker. And he expects all his cast to give their best. The result is a jamming production in downtown Tifton.
Show times are Friday, July 25 through August 2, 7:00 PM. Sunday’s performance is 3:00 PM. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.
Fletcher, J - Seymour
Fletcher, John - Mushnick
Ireland, Patrick - Orin Scrivello, D.D.S.
Jones, Antonio M. - Voice of Audrey II
Phillips, Alena - Audrey
Hickey, Jaida - Chiffon
Ireland, Alyson - Crystal
Reese, Temekia - Ronette
Wino I - Cathy Harrison
Customer 1 & 2 - Judy Hutt Thomas
Bernstein & Skip-Snip - Ryan Norton
Mrs. Luce - Beverly McClain
Patrick Martin - Brian A. Ray
Rhythm Guitar - Garrett Newell
Bass Guitar - Jon Randall
Drums - T Clay Sanders
Front of House
Lighting Technician - Garrett Roberts
Spotlight - Caleb Curry
Audrey II Construction - John Fletcher
Seamstress/Draper - Maureen Cadden White
Audrey II Puppeteers/Crew - Kaylee Brooke Morgan Stokes,
Audrey Conner & Trinity Holton
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