Who would expect anything with the word “horror” in the title to be funny? But the Mount Vernon Players’ presentation of “Little Shop of Horrors” is nothing short of laugh-out-loud comedy.
With a cast of 14, “Little Shop of Horrors” tells the story of insecure orphan Seymour Krelbourn, played by Alex Carroll, who finds a unique, unidentifiable plant and proposes to use it to entice customers into his employer’s flower shop in Skid Row.
As Seymour soon discovers, however, it is not a normal decorative plant, needing blood to survive — human blood.
Despite the somber tone of the plot, humor can be found with the characters of the musical as they recite ridiculous dreams in a serious manner or silently change their facial features to mimic their emotions.
And don’t underestimate the subtle humor found in slight scenery changes or background movements.
“It’s funny,” first-time director Jesse Miller said. “The humor comes from the characters being sincere.”
Carroll (Seymour) rightfully claims the lead; even if Seymour was not portrayed as the main character, Carroll’s talent and comedy brings him into the spotlight.
In fact, though Carroll’s co-star Bill Jantsch, playing Seymour’s caretaker and employer Mr. Mushnik, claims in the program that “if he were only a little younger he could have played Seymour,” it’s hard to believe Carroll’s performance could be topped; Carroll truly owns the character as if he himself grew up as an unconfident, nerdy orphan who had been bullied his entire life — and in no way is that an insult.