You might have seen the film adaptation starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin, or one of the many iterations of “Little Shop of Horrors” onstage. No wonder: Both the movie and the musical are beloved cult-classics.
Ever since it premiered in 1982, “Little Shop of Horrors” has scared up legions of fans. The deviously delicious musical comedy was created by the legendary dream team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (“Beauty & the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin”).
Though you may think you’ve seen it before, the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina’s production of “Little Shop” is fresh, new and – well, simply to die for!
This year marks the musical’s 40th anniversary and the Arts Center is featuring it as their 27th season’s opener. The show will run through Oct. 30.
The story is centered around a hapless floral assistant, Seymour Krelborn (Steven Klenk), who spends his days tending to sad little flowers as well as his wilting hope of better life beyond the skid row neighborhood he’s always known. Suddenly after a meteorologically unexpected “total eclipse of the sun,” Seymour stumbles upon a strange new breed of plant, an anthropomorphic cross between a Venus flytrap and an avocado.
Shortly after displaying the plant in the flower shop window, Seymour is catapulted to fame as the caretaker of the succulent sensation. He nicknames the plant Audrey II (voiced by Bradford Christian and puppeted by Andy McCain), after his crush at the flower shop, Audrey (Elexis Morton), who is in an unhealthy relationship with the dastardly dentist, Orin (Alex Ringler).
Digging a little deeper, the mysterious, bloodthirsty plant that nefariously breathes life into a failing skid row flower shop can also be seen as a cautionary tale about greed and ambition. Minor detail of the desire-for-world-domination aside, the show is infused with sweetness, vulnerability and love.
Many of the show’s thrills owe much to Ashman and Menken’s catchy, clever score featuring 1960s doo-wop-inflected tunes that you’ll leave singing and humming to for days! The music is further enlivened by a terrific trio of so-called urchins (played by Briana Brooks, Mackenzie Meadows and Brianna Javis), singing with supreme attitude and tight harmonies.
A first for the Arts Center is that the creative team behind “Little Shop of Horrors” is entirely female, comprised of director Whitaker Gannon, musical director Nissa Kahle, and choreographer Ashley McManus.
Together with a brilliantly talented cast, they have made “Little Shop” a big hit and a must-see experience for audiences.
Tickets are $62 for adults and $57 for children and may be purchased at tickets.artshhi.com or by calling the box office at 843-842-2787.
This show is best suited for ages 13 and up, but many younger audiences will find this musical perfectly delightful! Parental guidance is suggested.