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Broadway Shows: ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Take an adventure to “somewhere that’s green” with the new off-Broadway production Little Shop of Horrors. The black comedy musical has been a staple in the Broadway and film world with numerous movie adaptations and Broadway revivals. Feed your curiosity with everything you need to know about Little Shop of Horrors.


Little Shop of Horrors history  

Little Shop of Horrors was first developed as a 1960 movie written by Charles B. Griffith, directed by Roger Corman, and starring Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph, Mel Welles, and a young Jack Nicholson. The film follows Seymour, a nerdy florist who grows a plant that begins to feast on flesh and blood. While there is no confirmation on where Charles found his inspiration for the film, evidence shows he either got inspiration from John Collier’s 1932 story “Green Thoughts” or Arthur C. Clarke’s sci-fi story, The Reluctant Orchid. Interestingly enough, both plots focus on a man-eating plant. 

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In 1982, Alan Menken and Howard Ashman adapted the 1960 movie into a full-fledged musical. Taking inspiration from popular ‘60s music, Alan Menken composed songs in the style of rock and roll, doo-wop, and Motown. 

Following Little Shop of Horrors’ 5-year off-Broadway run, Frank Oz directed a 1986 film adaptation of the musical. The cast included Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, and Levi Stubbs. While the 1982 musical production created an original ending, the musical movie shares the same ending as the original 1960 plot. Frank Oz spoke with Entertainment Weekly on why they decided to change the film’s end.

“Howard (Ashman) and I were in David Geffen’s office and we both wanted to retain the original ending, with the plant winning and the key people dying. (Audiences) loved the 2 leads so much that when we killed them, they felt bereft. So, Howard rewrote it and I shot it with a satisfying ending.”  

Little Shop of Horrors Broadway musical

Since 1982, Little Shop of Horrors has made its way through Broadway, off-Broadway, the West End, and many national tours. In the musical’s career, it has gone on to win Drama Desk and Laurence Olivier Awards, and be nominated for Tony and Grammy Awards. 

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In 2019, Westside Theatre welcomed another off-Broadway revival with Hamilton star Jonathan Groff playing Seymour and Tammy Blanchard as Audrey, Seymour’s co-worker, and love interest. Tony winner Christian Borle appeared as Orin Svrivello. The show’s directed by Michael Mayer.

When the show returned after the pandemic in September 2021, Jeremy Jordan took over the role of Seymour. 

Currently, Conrad Ricamora plays Seymour. Tammy Blanchard and Christian Borle continue to be in the cast.

Why you should see Little Shop of Horrors 

Now that Broadway has opened its doors again, audiences should jump at the chance to see Little Shop of Horrors on stage. The production truly brings the movie to life. You’ll be able to hear the fun and thrilling soundtrack live, see all of the beautiful costumes and set pieces, and enjoy the magic of the excellent puppeteers who take on the role of the plant, Audrey II. 

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The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney says the musical is “a delightful cross-breed that grafted toe-tapping ’60s pop, doo-wop and Motown onto an affectionate parody of B-movie schlock, all of which continues to flourish in director Michael Mayer’s lovingly staged revival.”

Reporter Alexis Soloski praises the revival in The Guardian

“Tonally, Mayer’s production, accented with Will Van Dyke’s fine arrangements and Ellenore Scott’s gestural, loose-hipped, giddy choreography, takes a chirpy see-what-sticks approach, but the script is daffy and capacious enough to allow performances as emotionally grounded as Blanchard’s, as blithely comic as Groff’s, as bananas as Borle’s.”

Theater fans react to the new Little Shop of Horrors 

Fans have been sharing their love for this new production all over social media.

Little Shop of Horrors is playing at the Westside Theatre in NYC. Find tickets online

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