There’s a hungry, carnivorous, R&B-singing plant growing at the Pasadena Playhouse right now. It grows from a flower pot to cover the size of the stage, and looking at it you don’t know whether to laugh or to scream!
It is the Playhouse’s production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, the sci-fi musical comedy about a power-hungry, blood-thirsty plant aided by the inconspicuous clerk of a small flower shop, with new twists added with its Pasadena/Los Angeles location in mind.
George Salazar, who is currently starring as “Michael” in the Broadway productions of Be More Chill is “Seymour Krelborn.” Mj Rodriguez, who currently stars as “Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista” in Pose – the Emmy-nominated FX drama series with the largest cast of transgender actors – is “Audrey.” Amber Riley, best known for her portrayal of Mercedes Jones on the series Glee, is the voice of the plant, aka “Audrey II.”
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is often funny and sometimes pretty creepy. It is, after all, about a plant that needs human blood to grow. There’s a death by suffocation in the story, and although it is nothing compared to what one would see in Law and Order, for example, I still wouldn’t take my young kids to see it.
Reasons to attend, on the other hand, include Riley’s wonderful voice, Matthew Wilkas’ accomplished physical comedy, the puppetry design by Sean Cawelti, and the first professional performance of Cheyenne Isabel Wells, whom I’d bet we’ll continue to see on stage from here on.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS has book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken, and is directed by Mike Donahue. Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Pasadena Playhouse website, by phone at 626-356-7529, and at the box office at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The show performs through Oct. 20, 2019.