Talking shop on Theatre Horizon's take on 'Little Shop of Horrors'

2 minute read
Jessica M. Johnson stars in Theatre Horizon's take on 'Little Shop of Horrors.' (Photo by Alex Medvick)
Jessica M. Johnson stars in Theatre Horizon's take on 'Little Shop of Horrors.' (Photo by Alex Medvick)

Norristown’s Theatre Horizon is bringing back the celebrated cast of its Barrymore Winning The Color Purple together one more time for a concert performance of Little Shop of Horrors. The musical is based on a 1960 Roger Corman b-movie of the same name. Shot in two days on recycled sets, the movie (and the resulting musical) tells the story of a meek florist’s assistant who grows a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. Filled with doo-wop, Motown, R&B, and rock and rolls songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashmen.

Scary good

It’s been a big year for fans of Little Shop. This fall, two different, major revivals were presented in Los Angeles and New York. A movie musical remake is allegedly in the works with rumors of Lady Gaga, Rebel Wilson, and Josh Gad rounding out the cast. Here in the Philadelphia region, we get our own local star-studded cast.

Director Amina Robinson is bringing back Jessica M. Johnson as Audrey, Garrick Vaughan as Seymour, and Donnie Hammond as Audry II. The show will also feature, Dorien Belle,Derrick L. Millard II, Candace Benson, Chelsea-Ann Jones, Ryane Nicole Studivant, Tiffany Dawn Christopher, Victoria Aaliyah Goins, Jessica Muse Money, and Ebony Pullum in supporting and ensemble roles. According to the director, these returning members of the last season’s The Color Purple are ready: “...they are all so excited to get together... like a family reunion.”

The cast, comprised entirely of people of color, presents an opportunity for reinterpretation as the show is normally cast with white leads, and an African American supporting cast. “Whenever the race of the bodies on stage changes, the material changes,” Robinson noted. “I asked Gina Giachero, our music director, to let the voices be what they are. Not to force the voices into what we think of an Audrey or a Seymour.”

When asked what the audience should expect from this special presentation. Robinson shared, “...this is going to feel like a celebration of hearing fabulous voices sing this material...Get ready to have fun.”

What, When, Where:

Little Shop of Horrors, with music by Alan Menken and directed by Amina Robinson, runs January 24-26, 2020 at Theatre Horizon, 401 Dekalb Street, Norristown. Tickets are available online or by calling (610) 283-2230.

Theatre Horizon is an ADA-compliant venue, though there are no accessible parking spaces in the theater’s private lot. For questions about Theatre Horizon's accessibility, call the box office or email [email protected].

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