Gary’s Ratings: 4.6/5
Main Cast: Tammy Blanchard (as Audrey), Rob McClure (as Seymour), Christian Borle (as Orin Scrivello), Stuart Zagnit (as Mushnik), Aaron Arnell Harrington (as the voice of Audrey II), Khalifa White (as Ronnette), Cristina Rae (as Crystal), Khadija Sankoh (as Chiffon).
Running Dates: Previews from September 2019, Opening on October 17, 2019, on sale through January 8, 2023
Theater Location: Westside Theatre, 407 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036
Running Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes (including one short intermission)
Tickets: Prices from $69.00. Buy tickets here.
Gary’s Rating Score: 4.6/5
I rate this show highly for many reasons. In truth, everything about this show is of exceptional quality – the actors, the singing, the set design, and the storyline. The musical is a cult classic art piece that has remained relevant ever since 1986, when the “Little Shop of Horrors” movie musical came out.
The Little Shop of Horrors musical, on the other hand, may not please viewers that are after modern set designs or who don’t like dark humor.
What Is Little Shop of Horrors About?
Little Shop of Horrors is a well-known horror comedy rock musical that has won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people who have seen it over the years. Its music is written by Alan Menken, while the lyrics and book are the masterpieces of Howard Ashman.
The story of the musical follows an unfortunate florist named Seymour Krelborn who decides to raise a plant he found during a solar eclipse. After trying to feed the plant just about anything, Seymour discovers that it only feeds on human blood and flesh. He and the floral shop owner eventually become famous because of this plant. The plant eventually starts to crave more blood and threatens other characters.
This plant is extremely foul-mouthed and likes to sing R&B. At one point, the plant gives a promise to send fortune and fame to Seymour. The only condition the plant has is for Seymour to not stop feeding it.
Seymour names the plant Audrey II to honor his coworker he has a crush on. Everything Seymour does is in an effort to get the girl of his dreams and become famous. The story follows the progression of the plant’s desires and Seymour giving in to his impulses, delivering a strong message in the end.
How Complex Is the Show?
The show’s creators recommend it for children starting from age five. If you’re a parent planning to bring a younger child (less than five years old) to the musical, the theater clerk may not let you in. Some may consider 5 too young for such a gruesome story line and with the comedy over their heads.
Overall, the audience that enjoys quirky and dark comedy stories will love this play. The tone is goofy, and the use of language is fairly simple. Anyone from any background can watch it and understand the language without much trouble.
There is far more to this show than a simple horror-comedy setting with a man-eating plant. To understand hidden meanings in this play, attendees should be familiar with the meaning of metaphors and have at least some level of critical thinking.
That’s why children may have a harder time understanding the underlying issues in this show.
Set Design and Style of Little Shop of Horrors
The Little Shop of Horrors has fantastic staging that is made to reflect the original time of the creation of this movie/musical. The stage is traditional, and therefore transmits a nostalgic feel. The overall scenery is entertaining, makes you laugh, and is great at keeping the guest’s attention.
The set appears a bit darker, with the focus being on the actors that are mostly located in the center of the stage. All elements on the stage including the clothes, furniture, walls, and other décor and depict a mid-20th century setting.
The play is performed in the Westside Theatre (Upstairs) in a playroom featuring 270 seats.
The writers based the story on a comedy film from 1960 by Roger Corman called “The Little Shop of Horrors.” The music in the film is in the rock and roll style, and it features some popular songs like the title song “Skid Row,” and others.
The Little Shop of Horrors movie director is Frank Oz, so those who appreciate the musical can also try some other movies he has directed.
If you’re into horror-comedy, you may want to explore movies like Planet Terror, Bride of Re-Animator, or Little Monsters.
Another popular movie that grew to become a horror-comedy musical play is Rocky Horror Picture Show. The movie was released in 1975, but it’s still relevant today due to its story line that dares audiences.
As far as the topic is concerned, Seymour is ready to deal with the devil (Audrey II) to get fortune, fame, and love. But Seymour also allows himself to be consumed by his darkest impulses.
A Review of the Reviews
Both the movie and the play have remained cult classics ever since their inception.
Most people who have seen this show praise it for its terrific staging, uneven talent shown by the actors, and polished production. All performances in the musical are solid, and the overall feeling is nostalgic and sentimental. The musical seems to be a true revival of the 1960 and 1986 films with feel-good horror elements.
Many viewers give the show top reviews because of how incredible the songs are. Some vocals may not be up to the task compared to the rest of the crew, but this is certainly not a good enough reason not to see this play.
The audience shouldn’t expect to see reimagined, updated, or modernized material because this musical has traditional staging.
Characters and a Little About Them
|Seymour||Seymour is the main character of the musical. He is an assistant in a floral shop that gets catapulted to fame while taking care of Audrey II. He is a very sweet man despite his insecurity and flaws.|
|Audrey II||Audrey II, or Twoey, is the main antagonist in the musical. This plant lives on human blood, and originates from outer space.|
|Audrey||Audrey is the main female character and has a crush on Seymour. She is an arrangement maker in a flower shop, and is stifled by her dentist boyfriend. She is hopeless about her life situation. Starting September 2022, Audrey will be played by Tony-winning actress Lena Hall.|
|Mr. Mushnik||The owner of the flower shop that often curses in Yiddish. He often yells and never smiles.|
|Orin Scrivello||Audrey’s boyfriend who appears as a tough guy and loves to ride motorcycles. Orin is great-looking but sadistic.|
|Patrick Martin||An opportunist who tries to get leaf cuttings of the carnivorous plant from Seymour and Mr. Mushnik.|
|Crystal, Ronnette, Chiffon||Street urchins are the main narrators in the musical and they often sing to the audience in a narrative style.|
About the Theatre
The Westside Theatre (Upstairs) is located at 407 West 43rd Street between 9th and 10th avenues in New York, NY 10036.
The nearest subway station to the theatre is on 42nd Street – the Port Authority Bus Terminal Station.
Visitors can access the lobby and the box office from the street through a ramp and automated door.
The Upstairs Theatre isn’t accessible via wheelchair, as it is located on the second floor with no elevator.
Visitors may want to consider booking parking in advance if they drive in.
Get Your Tickets for Little Shop of Horrors (Off Broadway)
If you’d like to see this show, you can do so on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., as well as on Friday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
You can get your tickets by visiting this link.