Little shop has its horrors

Help! There is a man-eating plant in Studio 100 at Rotary Centre For The Arts and her name is Audrey II.

But don’t dismay, the strange and interesting plant at Mushnik and Son’s Florist is all part of New Vintage Theatre’s upcoming mega-musical, Little Shop of Horrors.

Little Shop of Horrors was first a low-budget horror movie starring Jack Nicholson, released in 1960, directed by Roger Corman known as the King of B-Movies. Legend has it that Corman learned about some sets left over from a recent movie shoot and he wrangled a deal with the filmmakers to leave them on site so he could shoot his own film with them.

What he didn’t say to the producers was that he didn’t have a script, so he spent the next 10 days writing Little Shop in coffee shops around Hollywood and then shot the film in two days and one night.

The result was the cult classic that inspired the musical and the magnificent botanical beast of a prop sitting in our studio today.

The musical version of the film premiered in 1968 and it quickly won acclaim. In 1983 Little Shop of Horrors beat Cats for the New York Critics Best Musical award and ran constantly for a record breaking 2209 performances more than five years making it the third longest running Off-Broadway musical of all time.

Audrey II is the plant named by Seymour (Corey Hendricks), the show’s nerdy hero, for the woman he adores.

Audrey (Joanne Booth) is a shop clerk with a heart of gold but trapped in a relationship with Orrin (Mac Mackay) her terrifying dentist boyfriend who loves Elvis but treats her like garbage on skid row.

Seymour starts to capture Audrey’s eye when the strange and unusual plant arrives at Mushnik’s Skid Row Florist, but what he doesn’t say is that he has to feed it blood in order to get it to keep growing.

Enter the “horror” part of the musical.

As the show’s producer, I have been working wrangling Audrey II puppets, sourcing 1950s dentist chairs and coordinating the behind the scenes surprises for the show, both gory and great.

Last week, I was blown away by the full run through I saw with the stars of the show, live band and glorious Audrey II. Director Danny Tagle’s choreography and Lyndsey Wong’s music is simply magnificent and must be seen.

So run, don’t walk to this hilarious cult comedy hit.  It’s not for kids but you won’t be sorry you visited Little Shop Of Horrors.

You will adore this strange and interesting musical and will even leave whistling about how much fun you had down on Skid Row.

Little Shop of Horrors runs May 16-26 at The Mary Irwin Theatre.

Tickets are available at www.rotarycentreforthearts.com


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About the Author

Bonnie Gratz is an actor, director, and playwright. She is the Artistic Director of Kelowna's New Vintage Theatre, and a member of the Playwright's Guild of Canada and The Literary and Dramaturges of North America. 

For more on Bonnie, check out www.bonnie-gratz.com or check out www.newvintage.ca

Contact Bonnie at:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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