Little Shop of Horrors
Sacramento, CA 95814
Sacramento Theatre Company wraps up its season of “mystery, music and mayhem” with a pleasant little parody that combines all of those elements—plus a killer plant.
Little Shop of Horrors is a deceptively simple comedy; a horror-rock musical that puts a meek Skid Row florist in the uncomfortable position of making a Faustian bargain with the devil, who happens to be a man-eating alien plant. It has blood, guts, guns, a sadistic dentist, a damsel in distress, and—”Give it a 10, Dick”—it has a beat you can dance to.
A Greek chorus named after ’60s girl groups (Miranda Lawson as Crystal, Ure Egbuho as Ronnette and Gabriella “Ella” Isaguirre as Chiffon) introduces the tale and provides running commentary. Andrew J. Perez plays Seymour, the nerdy would-be botanist who discovers a “strange and interesting” plant, which, when tended, turns out to be far more strange than anyone could imagine. Audrey (Jessica Goldman) is the object of Seymour’s unspoken affections—and of Orin Scrivello, DDS’s dangerous obsession. Michael R.J. Campbell is lovably shlubby as Mushnik, the owner of the flower shop where Seymour and Audrey work and where Audrey II, the hungry plant (operated by Aaron Hitchcock and voiced by Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly) is on display, drawing more and more attention and becoming more and more demanding.
Then people begin to disappear as Audrey II contemplates world domination.
Little Shop of Horrors is based on the low-budget 1960 Roger Corman science-fiction film of the same name. The musical retains the dark humor and spirit of the original, as well as its time frame, adding tunes in the style of early ’60s rock ’n’ roll, doo-wop and Motown—all exceptionally well-done and accompanied by a smokin’ four-piece band led by Dan Pool.
Michael Laun, STC’s producing director, takes a deft tongue-in-cheek approach, making this Little Shop one of the best productions you’re likely to see.