Music, comedy, and a little bit of horror blend deliciously in Playcrafters’ upcoming show, “Little Shop of Horrors,” where a unique flower shop plant finds its nourishment in the unthinkable.
The popular rock musical containing a montage of 60s rock ‘n’ roll tunes, including R&B and doo-wop, and composed by Alan Menken and written by Howard Ashman, had a five-year run off Broadway in 1982 and later, a 2003 adaptation went to Broadway in revival mode. A film of the same name — a low-budget black and white back in the 60s — “is where Jack Nicholson apparently got his start,” said Director Liz McDonald, who is making her directorial debut.
“It’s filled with 60s pop references,” she said of the music. “We have about 20 songs and a live band to accompany.”
Nebbish Seymour (Mark Snyder), an orphan who works as an assistant in an old New York City flower shop, stumbles upon a unique breed of other worldly plant that he purchases for $1.95. Apparently, the plant is from outer space and doesn’t respond to water. It prefers...well, blood.
“It looks like an avocado,” said McDonald in describing the plant that grows into what resembles a Venus flytrap.
In love with his beautiful co-worker, Audrey (Sandy Yozviak), Seymour names the plant after her (AudreyII).
The plant (who also sings and is voiced by Todd Engleman) promises forever fame and fortune to the lowly Seymour as long it is fed blood. (Spoiler alert: it likes flesh, too.) While enjoying the head-trip of being sought after because of the plant’s unusual powers, Seymour goes from “zero to hero,” until he discovers its true motivations but not before the plant is fed a smorgasbord of human flesh.
The flower shop owner is the cranky Mushnik (Ben Fried), a money-grubbing, swindler and Audrey’s misogynist dentist boyfriend, Orin Scrivello (John Keefrider), is a swaggering “Elvis-style” guy and as abusive as they come. (Keefrider also plays several other character roles.) Three doo-wop girls, fondly referred to as the Urchins, are played by: Alexis Ross, Liz Wheeler, and Jasmin Wiley. They, too, as the others, wish to cash in on Seymour’s success with the plant. Their humor is dark but funny.
“The theme is succumbing to temptation... to get rich,” said McDonald. “He (Seymour) sold his soul to the devil.”
The true star of the show as it takes center stage is the giant Venus flytrap, played by puppeteer Vince Rostkowski, who is a professional puppet master and recently toured with Jim Henson. The plant takes its star quality literally as it begins to grow—and grow. The puppets are huge. “They’re the size of my car,” said McDonald. Well, almost.
Note to the audience: While the huge Venus flytrap may look like it is about to descend on the audience, thus far, there have been no reported attacks on audience members — at least, not for their blood.
If you go:Playcrafters presents
Little Shop of Horrors2011 Store Road @ Rt. 73
Skippack, PA 19474August 13-15, 21-22, 27-29 – 8 p.m.
August 23 – 3 p..m.Tickets: $17.