It’s the perfect time for cult favorite sci-fi musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors to be on stage at Source with Constellation Theatre Company. This season of ghosts, haunts and other strange happenings is ideal for the beloved story of an awkward floral shop assistant who unleashes a man-eating plant on the world. And Constellation’s take on one of the most popular musical comedies of all time makes for a fun and frightful night right on 14th Street!
You probably already know the story. In this little flower shop on Skid Row, everyone has dreams… but the pursuit of those dreams is turning them into nightmares!
Audrey (Teresa Quigley Danskey) needs to leave her abusive boyfriend, the sadistic dentist Orin(played hilariously awkwardly by Scott Ward Abernethy) and all she wants is a simple, stable, suburban life. Mushnik (Robert John Biedermann) craves business success. And hapless Seymour (Christian Montgomery) wants whatever will draw Audrey to him — which he mistakes as fame and fortune.
A mysterious plant promises to make Seymour’s dreams come true if he can take care of him and keep him “fed,” which it turns out necessitates human blood. And because Seymour believes that Audrey is attracted to him for the fame that the unusual plant is bringing both to him and Mushnik’s flower shop, he begrudgingly agrees to it. But getting rid of an abusive boyfriend is one thing… then Mushnik perishes into the plant out of fear that Seymour’s secret will be discovered… and others are also getting trapped in Two-ey’s tentacles.
The cast is delightful, and musical numbers are peppy and spirited. But it’s the puppetry magic that makes Constellation’s Little Shop of Horrors such a great night of theatre. Puppeteer Rj Pavel gives life to the plant in four different stages of growth, all created by Matthew Aldwin McGee and ranging in size from a small pod to a six-foot man-eating monster. Obviously the results are fascinating to follow.
Constellation’s Little Shop of Horrors is entertaining to be sure (as well as a little loud in Source’s small box theatre). But this story is also a warning about what happens if you’re willing to do anything for your desires. As the ghoulish finale goes, “Don’t feed the plants…” or your ego… but go see this play before it ends on November 17th!
Little Shop of Horrors plays at the Source Theatre through November 17, 2019. Run time is 2 hours, with intermission.