An Off-Broadway revival of bookwriter/lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken's cult favorite Little Shop of Horrors, boasting a regularly star-studded cast, has been bringing audiences to Skid Row since fall 2019. Get Little Shop of Horrors tickets now.
The Little Shop of Horrors musical is a campy horror comedy centered on a florist named Seymour. He's sweet, yet clumsy and awkward, and he has a massive crush on his beautiful coworker, Audrey, who's already in a relationship with a sadistic dentist, Orin. His life turns around, though, when he comes upon an unusual plant that he brings into the shop. Suddenly, business is booming. The flower shop owner, Mushnik, warms up to Seymour and becomes the father figure he never had. Even Audrey starts to show interest in him.
But there's a catch. This unusual plant is unusually thirsty — and not for water. It's a flesh-and-blood-eating specimen — sweetly dubbed Audrey II — that soon becomes unsatisfied with Seymour pricking his finger every so often to feed it, and it comes alive to demand more substantial fare. If Seymour's up to the task of getting him some fresh human meat, the plant promises to make all of Seymour's dreams of fame, love, and fortune come true.
Little Shop of Horrors is based on a low-budget black comedy film, The Little Shop of Horrors, which debuted in 1960. It would become a musical more than 20 years later, with the premiere of Little Shop of Horrors off Broadway in 1982. The show played the Orpheum Theatre (currently home to Stomp) through 1987 and was the third-longest-running Off-Broadway show ever at the time. The musical would later transfer to Broadway in 2003, though Ashman initially refused, wanting to preserve the intimate nature of the show. He seems to have been onto something, as the Broadway production ran for just under a year and earned a single Tony nomination. The musical has remained most popular, though, as an Off-Broadway hit, thriving in smaller venues like its current home, the 270-seat Westside Theatre, as well as regional, community, and school theatres.
As the show takes place in the 1960s, Menken's score incorporates rock and roll, Motown, and doo-wop styles alongside traditional musical theatre.
The 2019 Little Shop of Horrors revival has seen a string of celebrity actors as Seymour, beginning with Jonathan Groff. He's been followed by Gideon Glick, Jeremy Jordan, Conrad Ricamora, Skylar Astin, and Rob McClure. Tammy Blanchard and Christian Borle have also starred in the revival — as Audrey and Orin, respectively — since its opening.
Get tickets to Little Shop of Horrors in New York now.
(Photos by Emilio Madrid-Kuser)