REVIEW: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Westside Theatre)

Based on the 1960’s film (and subsequent 1986 remake), Little Shop Of Horrors opened off-off-broadway in 1982, before transferring to off-broadway and eventually on to Broadway where it ran for five years. The show is now back off-broadway with a small production that is a labor of love for its cast and creatives, bringing the show back to its roots in a small venue, Westside Theatre (a converted Church).

Opening in 2019, starring Jonathan Groff as Seymour, Tammy Blanchard (Audrey) and Christian Borle (Orin Scrivello), the show received critical acclaim and enjoyed five months of performances before having to close down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But now it’s back, reopening in September 2021, with Jeremy Jordan replacing Groff as Seymour.

Set in a failing flower shop, in one of the worst areas of town, Mr Mushnik has no choice but to shut up shop due to lack of business, putting employees Seymour and Audrey out of work. Seymour has found an exotic plant that he has been nurturing and Audrey convinces Mr Mushnik to put it in the shop window to attract the interest of passers-by. Seymour and AudreyII soon become celebrities and the flower shop begins to blossom. But there is one problem – the plant is a carnivore and only wants fresh human blood. When Seymour can no longer satisfy its hunger himself, he sets his eyes on Audrey’s abusive boyfriend to become the plant’s next snack.

Featuring the timeless songs ‘Suddenly Seymour’, ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ and ‘Skid Row’, Little Shop Of Horrors has a wonderful soundtrack. The hilariously performed ‘Call Back In The Morning’ is a real treat to open act two of the show and ‘Dentist’ in the first half is incredibly performed by Christian Borle.

It’s hard to say who steals the show most in this production. Jeremy Jordan as sweet, innocent, and impressionable Seymour, Christian Borle as the electrifying dentist (plus playing many smaller roles throughout the show) or Tammy Blanchard who gives a heartbreaking rendition of ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ – really bringing home the emotion behind the abusive relationship she is in. Joy Woods, Salome Smith and Ari Groover are also wonderful as Chiffon, Crystal and Ronette – holding the show together with their incredible voices.

Don’t miss this brilliant production of Little Shop Of Horrors if you are in New York. It really is something very special and I am so happy to have had a chance to see it.

★★★★★

Reviewed by West End Wilma