I have always had an affinity for Little Shop of Horrors. Maybe it's Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's score. Maybe it's because my birthday is on the 21st day of September. Whatever the reason, I've never attended as many productions of Little Shop as I did in the last year and a half: During that time, I went to five performances in four cities: Beverley, Massachusetts; New York City; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Paris, France. Each was charming in its own way, and each was very different.
Little Shop was the first musical I saw in New York after theaters had begun to reopen in 2021. I saw it on my birthday, and I cried watching Jeremy Jordan as Seymour and Tammy Blanchard as Audrey. I thought this production of Little Shop was close to perfect, and I figured it would be the last one I would attend for a while.
Then in 2022, I attended another production of Little Shop — again on my birthday — this time at Beverly's North Shore Music Theatre, which has a circular rather than a proscenium stage. The show lost some of its magic in the round, because it's not as easy to hide all the behind-the-scenes business needed to execute the puppetry. Audrey II was also cast with a female voice, which for me changed the relationship between Seymour and the plant and ultimately proved more of a distraction. To its credit, this production cast Ed Romanoff as Mushnick; he may be the best Mushnick I have ever seen...READ MORE