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Pittsburgh Public Theater Presents ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

PITTSBURGH — In artistic director Marya Sea Kaminski’s first musical at Pittsburgh Public Theater, a legendary plant meets an irresistible pop score.

Pittsburgh Public Theater starts 2020 with the musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors,” with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken. This monster hit is Marya Sea Kaminski’s first musical at The Public, and features the return of Grammy winner John McDaniel as music director. “Little Shop of Horrors” runs Thursday, Jan. 23, through Sunday, Feb. 23, at the O’Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater’s home in the heart of Downtown’s Cultural District.

For tickets call 412-316-1600, go to ppt.org, or visit the Box Office.

In Little Shop of Horrors, Mr. Mushnik (Marc Moritz) struggles to keep his Skid Row flower shop open. One day his nerdy clerk, Seymour (Carnegie Mellon University grad Philippe Arroyo), brings in an odd horticultural find. He names it after his co-worker, Audrey (Lauren Marcus, Be More Chill), with whom he is in love. But Audrey is dating a sadistic dentist, Orin (Patrick Cannon), so Seymour must content himself with nurturing his little bloom, Audrey II. He quickly discovers, however, that this plant isn’t like any other.

It can talk and sing! (Monteze Freeland, voice of Audrey II). It can also dance, and grow to amazing heights (J. Alex Noble, puppeteer of Audrey II).

The flower just needs one thing in order to thrive: fresh human blood.

“Little Shop of Horrors” is based on Roger Corman’s sci-fi movie from 1960 titled “The Little Shop of Horrors.” What Ashman and Menken did so brilliantly was add lyrics and music in the styles of R&B, rock and the girl-groups of the early ’60s.

This last sound is embodied onstage by The Urchins, a singing group made up of Ronnette (Melessie Clark), Crystal (Tavia Rivee) and Chiffon (Abigail Stephenson). The trio acts as a sort of Greek chorus commenting on the action — if Greek choruses were young, hip and melodic.

“Little Shop of Horrors'” signature songs include “Downtown (Skid Row),” “Somewhere That’s Green” and the awesome power ballad “Suddenly Seymour.”

In addition to “Little Shop of Horrors'” hilariously harrowing plot, Kaminski sees its deeper meaning.

“Little Shop resonates with the bigger question of what it’s like to be hungry and tells the story of the monstrous lengths we’ll go to in order to get what we most crave,” she said.

The design team for “Little Shop of Horrors” is Tim Mackabee (scenic), Susan Tsu (costumes), Robert Aguilar (lighting), Zach Moore (sound) and Bryce Cutler (projections).

Trina Mills is the choreographer, Catie Brown is associate music director, and Hattie Clare Andres is the associate director. Casting is by Geoff Josselson, Pamela Brusoski is the production stage manager and Rebecca Krall is the assistant stage manager.

Performance Schedule will be: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.; Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. (except Wed. Feb. 5); Saturdays at 2 p.m. (except Jan. 25 and Feb. 1) plus 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20; Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. (except Feb. 23 when the final performance is at 2 p.m.)

For tickets contact 412-316-1600, ppt.org, or visit The O’Reilly Box Office.

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