The Monmouth University Department of Music and Theatre Arts will present the classic hit musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors in March in the historic Woods Theatre. The musical, with music and lyrics by the team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (composers of the current Broadway hit Newsies and the film The Little Mermaid), will run March 5 through 9, and March 11 through 13.
The story of a hapless florist shop worker who discovers a new species of plant that feeds on human blood has become a comedy classic since its origins as a sci-fi B-movie in the 1950s, an off-Broadway hit in the 1980s, and then a hit film version in 1986. For the Monmouth production, Brandon Wiener is featured as the clumsy Seymour, who is in love with his co-worker Audrey, played by Brooke McCarthy. But she is involved with a sadistic dentist, played by Michael Rosas. Audrey and Seymour work for the Skid Row Florists, owned by Nick Zaccario as Mr. Mushnik. They will perform on a revolving set, designed by Professor Ferdinando DelGuercio and painted by Professor Michael Donato, with the carpentry skills of Michael Carroll, under lights designed by Ray Reehill.
Directed by Professor Maurice J. Moran, the story is narrated and commented on by a Greek chorus-like trio, satirically named after 60s girl groups: Ronnette (Jasmine Walker), Chiffon (Devon Henry), and Crystal (Mahalia Jackson). Under the musical direction of Professor George Wurzbach, the cast keep things moving with 60s-style rock songs like “Downtown,” “Suddenly Seymour,” and the ballad “Somewhere That’s Green.” Nick Rossi (spoiler alert!) lends his voice to the plant, affectionately called Audrey Two by Seymour, and he also choreographs some of the songs in the show. Customers of the store, business associates, and local street people are portrayed by Zoe Bullitt (who also assistant directs), Chelsea Barretto, Stephen Lang (who also animates the 4th plant), and Bob Davies. Megan Van Tine is the puppeteer for Plant #3. The plants and several props are being supplied by The Eagle Theatre in Hammonton.
The stage manager is Megan Roberts, leading a crew of stage hands including Assistant Stage Manager Samantha Myers, Maegan Santalla, Shayna Conde, Jessica Severns, Courtney Moore, Nicole DeSarno, and Jenn Barlow. The house manager is Nicole Massabrook. They are advised by Professor Sheri Anderson.
Showtimes are at 8 p.m. on March 5 through 8, and March 11 through 13, with a matinee at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 9. Ticket prices are $20, $15 for senior citizens, and $10 for non-MU students. For more information, visit www.monmouth.edu/arts or call 732-263-6889.