Grow For Me!
Little Shop of Horrors (Musical) premiered Off Off-Broadway in 1982 as an Equity showcase at the WPA Theatre before becoming a smash hit Off-Broadway at the Orpheum Theatre in the East Village where it had a five-year run. The musical, which was originally a 1960's film composed by Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, focus around a young man by the name of Seymour who works in a faltering flower shop where he has secretly created a carnivorous plant that feeds on human flesh.
The musical is narrated by a trio of street urchins (“Da-Doo”) who dropped out of school in the fifth grade by the name of Crystal (Candace C. Edwards), Ronette (Melanie Brezill) and Chiffon (Melanie Loren). They set the scene of “Little Shop of Horrors" and provide vocal and musical assistance to Seymour and Audrey throughout the show.
Seymour Krelborn is a poor young man who was once an orphan that lived in urban Skid Row. Audrey is a pretty blonde with questionable taste in men and her fashion leaning towards tacky. They both work in a broken down, florist shop with the cranky owner Mr. Mushnik (Ron E. Rains) in Skid Row. Mushnik is thinking about closing the shop because it's not generating any business, however, when Seymour brings out the plant, fondly named Audrey II, everything changes for him, Audrey and the owner.
Little Shop of Horrors is a hilarious yet tragic love story that introduces us to some very colorful characters dealing with life-altering consequences as they try to survive their mundane lives on Skid Row. This dark comedic musical about a down on his luck guy, Seymour (Will Lidke) who is offered the girl of his dreams Audrey (Kelly Felthous), fame, and success with the help of an all-powerful, R & B talking and singin' carnivorous plant. YES, if you are a handful of people who haven't seen the film, play or the musical; you have read that correctly.
One day Seymour acquires a plant that looks like a large Venus Fly Trap while browsing the wholesale flower district. When a sudden eclipse of the sun occurs, and when the light returns, a weird plant appears. Seymour who is secretly in love with Audrey decides to name his mysterious plant Audrey II.
Seymour is concerned that the plant is not thriving at the florist shop and wonders what he can do to make it grow. One day he accidentally pricks his finger from a rose thorn, which draws blood and Audrey II opens up thirstily seeking more. Seymour quickly recognizes that Audrey II requires blood to survive and allows the plant to suckle from his finger; (Grow Me). As Audrey II continues to grow a decision is made to place it in the window so that people can see the exotic plant, which works and Mr. Mushnik business starts to flourish.
The story picks up from here when Seymour starts having difficulties finding enough blood for the plant so that it can stay healthy, Seymour stops feeding the plant, and Audrey II reveals that it can speak. It gives Seymour an ultimatum that if he feeds him everything that he ever desired will come true.
The ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Director Scott Calcagno delivers with a night of fun, laughter and a particular taste of bloody delicacies with a stellar cast of actors. Leading the ensemble is the incredible pintsize powerhouse Kelly Felthous (Audrey). Felthous who makes you want to root for her and her dream to live a less painful life in the suburbs with furniture complete with plastic and frozen dinners ("Somewhere That's Green").
The lovable Seymour as Will Lidke, the nice-nasty Ron E. Rains as Mr. Mushnik, Steven Strafford who plays multiple characters including (Dr. Orin Scrivello D.D.S.). The VOICE of Audrey II, Lorenzo Rush Jr; (Suppertime) and Audrey II brought to life by puppeteer Matthew P. Sitz who both does a remarkable job.
Let’s Play ‘Highly Recommend’ that you take a trip to Drury Lane in Oakbrook to see ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ so that you can see why it has so much staying power for an off-Broadway play.
The cast includes:
Kelly Felthous (Audrey)
Will Lidke (Seymour Krelborn)
Melanie Brezill (Ronette)
Candace C. Edwards (Crystal)
Melanie Loren (Chiffon)
Ron E. Rains (Mr. Mushnik)
Lorenzo Rush Jr. (Voice of Audrey II)
Steven Strafford (Dr. Orin Scrivello D.D.S.)
Audrey II will be brought to life by puppeteer Matthew P. Sitz.
Drury Lane Theatre presents
Little Shop of Horrors
Music by Alan Menken
Book by Howard Ashman
Direction and Choreography by Scott Calcagno
Musical Direction by Roberta Duchak
September 6 – October 28, 2018
Filed under: ChicagoNow