‘Ignite the frights’ with CNY Playhouse’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Justin Polly (Seymour) performs alongside Who: Central New York Playhouse

Where: Shoppingtown Mall - 3649 Erie Blvd. East Syracuse, NY

When: Oct. 16-31

Tickets: $22-$25

Central New York Playhouse’s “Little Shop of Horrors” effectively captured the horrifically funny characters we all know and love down on Skid Row.

The play tells the tale of Seymour, (Justin Polly) a young man down on his luck who works in a florist shop in the city slums. When he creates a flesh eating plant he faces the task of keeping his ruthless new pet satisfied.

Director Dustin Czarny truly harnessed the musical ability of his cast, creating an on-point ensemble that was able to carry the musical’s rollicking, Motown style doo-wop.

The melodious voices of Ceara Windhausen, Carleena Manzi and Sami Horner, who played the street urchin ensemble, really added to the overall quality of the show.

Of course, a challenge with this particular production is effectively executing the life-size Audrey II puppet, the flesh eating plant created by Seymour.

The scenic crew skillfully designed an entryway for the plant where it could hang logistically throughout musical numbers while concealing the set crew operating it from behind.

Korrie Taylor (Audrey) and Justin Polly (Seymour) perform in

While Audrey (Korrie Taylor) and Seymour (Justin Polly) did well in their roles, the award for ultimate show-stealer goes to Jordan Westfall who played Orin, Audrey’s sadistic boyfriend dentist.

Westfall mastered the heinous laugh, demonstrating his character’s love for the perverse while exuding dramatic flair, creating an original interpretation of the character portrayed by Steve Martin in the 1986 film.

Thanks to smart casting, beautiful voices and a well-written classic this “Little Shop of Horrors” production was dreadfully entertaining.