Musical Little Shop of Horrors Opens March 27

Friday, February 28th, 2014

“Someone show me the way to get out of here,” moan the inhabitants of skid row in Little Shop of Horrors, the spring musical at West Virginia Wesleyan College. The Music Department and Theatre & Dance are collaborating once again to bring Broadway-style entertainment to Buckhannon on March 27-29 in the Culpepper Auditorium at the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts.

The musical follows Seymour, a down-and out skid row floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies has become a household name, thanks to a score by the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Harold Menken, who redefined the animated musical film with Disney’s The Little MermaidBeauty and the Beast and  Aladdin.

Based on the low-budget cult film by Roger Corman, Little Shop of Horrors opened at the Orpheum Theatre Off-Broadway in New York City, playing over 2,200 performances. The original production was directed by lyricist/librettist Howard Ashman and starred Lee Wilkof as Seymour, Ellen Greene as Audrey and Martin P. Robinson and Ron Taylor as Audrey Two and his voice, respectively. The show received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. When it closed on November 1, 1987, it was the third-longest running musical and the highest-grossing production in off-Broadway history.

The London production received the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical.

The 1986 Warner Brothers film version directed by Frank Oz featured an all-star cast, including Rick Moranis as Seymour, Vincent Gardenia as Mushnik, Steve Martin as Orin, Ellen Greene reprising her role as Audrey, and cameo appearances by James Belushi, John Candy, Christopher Guest and Bill Murray.

The Wesleyan College production is directed by Gregory Mach, associate professor of dramatic arts, and R. Daniel Hughes, associate professor of music, and is starring Rachel Barnhart of Lewisberry, PA, Tim Brown of Upper Marlboro, Logan Darnell of Danville, Phil Fisher of Charleston, Bethany Gardner of Eighty Eight, PA, Teneille Garton of Weston, Charles Harper of Silver Spring, MD, Collin Nelson of Charleston, Corinne Weaver of Oakland, and with choreography by Nina Scattaregia of the Dance Factory, Scenic Design by Keith Saine, costumes by Wesleyan alumnus Angela Post, and Lighting Design by special guest artist Brittany Diliberto.

Performances are March 27-29 at 8 p.m.; with a matinee March 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door: $7 general admission; $5 seniors and students; and $3 for Wesleyan faculty, staff and students. For more info contact Greg Mach at mach@wvwc.edu.

Little Shop of Horrors is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.