Little Shop of Horrors, the off Broadway classic musical based on the book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and film by Roger Corman, is part rock ‘n’ roll, part R & B, doo-wop, sci-fi, and romantic comedy. It is entertaining, whimsical, fun and very dark!
photo courtesy of JDC Photography

Screenplay written by Charles Griffith, directed by D’Shaun A. Booker and produced by Spencer Johnson, the setting is a flower shop on Skid Row in New York City in the 1960s where mild mannered and nerdy Seymour, the florist’s assistant, finds fame, fortune and so much more when he nurtures a bizarre and exotic plant that requires a very special plant food diet. (it puts the die in diet!) The play raises a very interesting question and moral dilemma: At what cost will people pay in order to get the things in life they desire and think they deserve? The shop owner, Mr Mushnik, played by a very funny Marc Ostroff, wants power and money. Seymour played by Patrick Olsen, who gives an excellent performance, wants love, power and recognition. Audrey, a coworker, played by Jess LaFever and whose voice is hauntingly beautiful, wants true love, but is unable to break from her abusive boyfriend Orin, the sadistic, creepy and nitrous oxide-addicted dentist hilariously played by Brian O’Sullivan.

With shout out performances by Tyra Dennis, as Crystal, FreXinet Johnson as Ronette and Brayon Rollison as Chiffon, this talented trio sets the tone from the opening scene, warning the audience that some horror is coming their way. My favorite character is the Audrey II, the plant that comes to life with the incredible, soulful voice of Steven Flowers and skillful movement by Matthew Artson, the puppeteer who maneuvers and moves the plant around so convincingly, that we believe it is bitingly alive!
photo courtesy of JDC Photography

The 1960s-style score by Alan Menken is electrifying, along with the humorous book and lyrics by Howard Ashman. The duo is best known for their legendary Disney film scores, (The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin). This show kept us entertained from beginning to shocking end.

The entire production with music direction by Esin Aydingoz, choreography by Mori Edwards, costume design by Chris Tiernan, lighting design by William Wilday, set design by Thomas Brown and stage management by Evelyn Myers all works together seamlessly to tell this deliciously entertaining tale.

Do not miss Little Shop of Horrors at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre through April 13, 2018, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. There will be an audience talkback on Friday, March 29, 2019; Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica 90405;