Stage Door News
Stratford: “Little Shop of Horrors” is now on stage at the Stratford Festival
Monday, April 29, 2019
From the creative team that made history with Stratford’s longest-running production, The Rocky Horror Show, comes another cult rock musical, Little Shop of Horrors. Previews begin today at the Avon Theatre and the production opens on Friday, May 31.
Canada’s top Director-Choreographer, Donna Feore, and her creative team – Music Director Laura Burton, Set Designer Michael Gianfrancesco, Costume Designer Dana Osborne, Lighting Designer Michael Walton, Projection Designer Jamie Nesbitt, Sound Designer Peter McBoyle and Associate Choreographer and Assistant Director Stephen Cota – are back to satisfy that cult craving once again with a deliciously campy production of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s “monster” hit, filled with awesome special effects and a fabulous sixties-style score played by a rollicking live orchestra.
In this sci-fi spoof, André Morin plays Skid Row florist’s clerk Seymour Krelborn, who is too shy to declare his love for his co-worker Audrey, played by Gabi Epstein, until a mysterious exotic plant brings him unexpected fame and fortune. There’s just one problem: the plant has ambitions of its own, and it thrives on only one food – human blood.
Morin and Epstein are joined by Dan Chameroy as the sadistic dentist, Orin, and Steve Ross as Seymour’s boss, Mr. Mushnik, with Matthew G. Brown as the voice of Audrey II, Camille Eanga-Selenge as Chiffon, Starr Domingue as Crystal and Vanessa Sears as Ronnette.
“True to its sci-fi roots, Little Shop is not afraid to be imaginatively outrageous,” says Feore. “What Howard Ashman and Alan Menken have managed to do is pose the important questions in super-digestible ways. What are we are prepared to pay for the life we want? What or whom are we prepared to sacrifice? And they ask these questions with a wonderfully wacky scenario and wildly compelling music and lyrics. The story is subversively powerful, handling issues as difficult as abuse and identity, but all with the sly humour that Ashman and Menken insist is the only ‘sugar’ that can help this medicine go down.”
“Like The Rocky Horror Show, Little Shop of Horrors earned a cult status because it touches something universally human,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “It shouldn’t work – a foul-mouthed flesh-eating plant at the centre of a poignant story of longing for love and family – and yet it works brilliantly. It’s outrageous, but wholehearted, and a heck of a lot of fun! Donna tapped into something very special with Rocky Horror, with so many enthusiastic fans coming back again and again, so the chance to see her and her team dive back into the sci-fi musical world and reinvent another cult classic is incredibly exciting.”
The fun spills over into the Forum with the popular Song and Dance Workshops (July 19, July 26 and August 8), in which Festival artists teach step-by-step choreography from the production. And Donna Feore, the talent behind that choreography, will draw from her work on Little Shop of Horrors to discuss the Changing Traditions in Musical Theatre (July 10) with The New York Times co-chief theatre critic Jesse Green, as part of the week-long series The New York Times at Stratford.
For tickets and a full list of the Forum events offered almost every day throughout the season, please visit: stratfordfestival.ca.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Based on the Film by Roger Corman, Screenplay by Charles Griffith
April 29 – November 2; opens Friday, May 31
Avon Theatre, 99 Downie Street, Stratford, Ontario
Tickets $23.50 to $201
Box office: 1-800-567-1600