Live community theater shows returns to the Broadway Theatre with ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’
Previously, the theatre planned to present ‘James and the Giant Peach Jr.’ in March 2020 but the show had been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, it is unlikely that ‘James and the Giant Peach Jr. will be brought back as the theatre had to relinquish licensing for the show.
“We were upset because we had no idea what was coming,” ‘Little Shop of Horror’ music instructor Bruce Bonnell said. “The show was shut down on opening night.”
Also, other shows, events, and performances were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the Broadway Theatre began to hold events and performances again.
“It’s been so joyful to come back because everyone missed it,” Bonnell said. “We’re nervous in a good way though we have felt like we’re on pins and needles, wondering if things are okay.”
‘Little Shop of Horrors’ will be performed on Oct. 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 7 p.m., and on Oct. 17 and 24 at 2 p.m.
The show is a horror-comedy rock musical with music by Alan Menken and lyrics and a book by Howard Ashman. It follows a floral shop worker named Seymor Krelborn as he raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh (Audrey II).
“We wanted to do something for the high schoolers and they wanted to do something more challenging,” Bonnell said.
Rehearsals for the show were held in smaller spaces and cast members were asked to wear their masks as much as possible in order to remain healthy during the rehearsals and performances.
“We’ve not had a sick cast member and the kids have been really great about it,” Bonnell said.
The show also includes some interesting set and prop elements. Specifically, the Audrey II puppets for the show were rented from a licensing company and the backstage is very busy with set activity due to regularly flowing action.
Upcoming shows at the Broadway Theatre includes a Christmas variety show, ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.,’ and the play ‘God of Chaos.’
The Off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors – which re-opened its doors on September 21, 2021 – kicks off Halloween weekend today with a cast performance on the Special Halloween Episode of ABC-TV’s national morning show “The View” at 11:00AM ET. The hit production has also released a new block of tickets today, for performances through September 4, 2022 at The Westside Theatre (407 West 43rd Street). Group sales are now available through January 8, 2023.
With a book and lyrics by Grammy and Academy Award winner Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), and music by Tony and Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Aladdin, Newsies), the 2020 Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk Award-winning Best Musical Revival of Little Shop of Horrors is directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Spring Awakening).
Currently starring in the production are Tony Award Nominee Jeremy Jordan (Newsies, American Son) as Seymour, Emmy Award winner Tammy Blanchard (Life with Judy Garland, Gypsy) as Audrey, and two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Something Rotten!, Falsettos) as Orin Scrivello, D.D.S, alongside returning cast members Tom Alan Robbins (The Lion King, Head Over Heels) as Mushnik, Aaron Arnell Harrington (RENT 20th Anniversary Tour) as The Voice of Audrey II, Salome Smith as Ronnette, Joy Woods as Chiffon, and Aveena Sawyer as Crystal.
Rounding out the cast is Eric Wright, Teddy Yudain, Stephen Berger, Josh Daniel, Jana Djenne Jackson, and Chelsea Turbin.
‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at YSU Theatre
The show is based on the film by Roger Corman and features lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken.
Directed by guest director Ian Silverman, “Little Shop” begins with meek flower shop assistant Seymour, who pines for co-worker Audrey. During a total eclipse, he discovers an unusual plant he names Audrey II, which feeds only on human flesh and blood.
The growing plant attracts a great deal of business for the previously struggling store. After Seymour feeds Audrey’s boyfriend, Orin, to the plant after Orin’s accidental death, he must come up with more bodies for the increasingly bloodthirsty plant.
“I have so enjoyed watching the students grow throughout this process,” Silverman said. “This show has been a tremendous undertaking for the department, especially coming back from the challenges of the past 18 months.”
A director of both musical theater and opera productions, Silverman has traveled the country working with some of the industry’s top directors and performers.
He has extensive experience with new works that engage with today’s social and political issues. Silverman also specializes in crossover work, blending the lines between musical theater and opera.
“Little Shop of Horrors” cast members include Lexi Cerny, Machiah Davis, Lacey Farina, Trinity Thomas, Tommy DeLuca, Elise Vargo, Samantha Gurd, Adam Dominick, Kyle Hudson, Nathanael Montgomery, Rue Deja, Minnie Dischert, Mallory Erhart and Meredith Pallo.
The production will include live music by the Musical Theatre Ensemble, conducted by Kent Engelhardt. Members include Alex Foose, Maria Mangine, Mason Tribelo, Noah Landry, Mike Miller, Devin Zerjav, Jo’El Harrison, and Owen Davis.
‘Little Shop of Horrors’: The Evil Plant Was Voiced by This Pop Star
The Little Shop of Horrors was dark comedy/horror film from 1960. In the 1980s, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken turned the film into an off-Broadway musical called Little Shop of Horrors. The musical pays homage to the 1960s. Many of the song sound like they could’ve been performed by Phil Spector’s girl groups.
Fittingly, when director Frank Oz turned the musical into another film, he cast a 1960s pop star: Levi Stubbs. Stubbs was a member of The Four Tops, the Motown group behind such classic songs as “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch),” “If I Were a Carpenter,” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There.” In the film, Stubbs played Audrey II, the man-eating extraterrestrial plant who serves as the villain of the film.