photographs by Barry Wisdom /
Sacramento Theatre Company closes its 2011-12 season with a blast from the past, staging an all-new production of "Little Shop of Horrors," a huge hit during its 1986-87 season, that is set to play April 28 to May 20, 2012.
The show, which originated more than 50 years ago as a Roger Corman film about a milquetoast florist’s assistant and his blood-craving spore from outer space, has enjoyed several incarnations, from film to stage, then back to film, before last landing on television as an animated children’s series.
Undoubtedly influenced by the cinematic seeds planted in his subconcious by such sci-fi classics as "The Thing from Another World" (1951) and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (1956), director Roger Corman released his own movie about an extraterrestrial leaf form ("The Little Shop of Horrors") on an unsuspecting public in 1960.
Notable for its Ed Wood-style production values – as well as an early big-screen appearance by Jack Nicholson – "The Little Shop of Horrors" didn’t break any box-office records or spawn any sequels, but after more than 20 years it did mutate into a successful stage musical following award-winning Off-Broadway, West End and Los Angeles runs as "Little Shop of Horrors."
With a book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, the stage musical was transferred back to the silver screen as the Frank Oz-directed "Little Shop of Horrors," garnering an Oscar nomination for the original song "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space" (added to the show’s score for the film).
The Sacramento Theatre Company revival, which previews April 25-28, is directed by STC Producing Director Michael Laun, with musical direction by Dan Pool and choreography by Jerald Bolden.
The cast includes Andrew J. Perez (Seymour), Jessica Goldman (Audrey Goldman), Michael RJ Campbell (Mushnik), William Elsman (Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce and others), Miranda Lawson (Crystal), Ure Egbuho (Ronnette), Gabriella "Ella" Isaguirre (Chiffon), Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly (voice of Audrey II), Aaron Hitchcock (Audrey II manipulator), and Tom Block, Javen Crosby, Dafydd Wynn and Garrick SIgl (additional puppeteers).
Sacramento Theatre Company has announced that it is rolling back ticket prices for the 2 p.m. April 28 preview to celebrate the show’s return. These discounted tickets, priced at $15, are available through the STC box office as well as online.
For those interested in learning more about the history of "Little Shop of Horrors," the company is hosting prologue sessions 45 minutes prior to each performance.
JUST THE FACTS
What: The Sacramento Theatre Company production of the Howard Ashman-Alan Menken musical "Little Shop of Horrors"
When: previews April 25-April 28; opens 8 p.m. April 28 and plays through May 20 with performances at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays
Where: Sacramento Theatre Company Main Stage, 1419 H St., Sacramento, Calif.
Who: Book/lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken; directed by Michael Laun; featuring Andrew J. Perez, Jessica Goldman, Michael RJ Campbell, William Elsman, Miranda Lawson, Ure Egbuho, Gabriella "Ella" Isaguirre, Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly
How much: $15-$38 (discounts available for students, seniors and groups)
More info: www.sactheatre.org; (916) 443-6722 or (888) 478-2849