Little Shop Of Horrors

REVIEW by Willard Manus

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is a show that always works, whether performed on Broadway, on a DVD, or by a touring company, as is the case with the production under review. Directed by Jerry Zaks, choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, designed by Scott Pask, the musical seems even funnier and snappier this time around, thanks to the expert creative team and to the sparkling cast, led by Anthony ("Rent") Rapp and Tari ("The Boy From Oz") Kelly as the two flower-shop flunkies. Seymour amd Audrey. Both performers sing well, are good at comedy, and have star power. Lenny Wolpe as Mushnik and James Moye as a slew of other villainous characters light up the stage as well, but most of the critical kudos should go to Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who wrote the words and music (after the B-movie by Roger Corman). Just about every song in the 2 1/2 hr show is clever, catchy and funny. The entire production is also well served by The Jim Henson Co. and Martin P. Robinson, the ones responsible for Audrey II, the potted piranha whose diet of human flesh swells him to mega-monster size as it dances around and gives voice to the terrifying command, "Feed me!" LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is a cartoon from beginning to end, but is jaunty and hilarious nontheless.


Ahmanson Theater, 135 N. Grand Ave. thru Oct. 16. Call (213) 628-2772 or visit TaperAhmansoncom