Willa Gruver's "Audrey" was a pleasant surprise on opening night of "Little Shop of Horrors," the current musical production of the San Carlos Children's Theater which opened Friday at Central Middle School's Mustang Hall.
The Sequoia High junior delivered a convincing performance and showcased a wonderfully effective voice that bounced off the back walls.
She was the star of a delightful show directed by Eron Block but certainly wasn't the only highlight.
Jon Toussaint played an understated "Seymour Krelbom" that fit perfectly with Gruver's character as he worked his way from timid to hero.
The scene-setting trio of Emma Elliott (Crystal), Emily Costello (Ronette) and Megan Smith (Chiffon) nearly stole the show. They're the first characters you see and were unforgettable in establishing a smooth, vibrant rhythm.
If I didn't know any better, I would have sworn Alex Arbisman was a college student. Hats off to his makeup artist. The overall makeup complemented the performances.
Giorgi Trembly was a blessing as the villian dentist, pulling off the part with grace and gusto.
Ensemble pieces were excellently devised and choreographed, with movements that would be difficult even for older dancers.
Lighting, costume design, special effects, the musical score and the puppetry were all first rate.
Special mention to all the other actors who gave their all and only added to the overall success of the production.
Note: Some of the roles were double cast, so not all of the above mentioned actors will appear in every performance. The show continues Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and will show again next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m.