LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Critics

LemonMeter

75 %

Reviews: 14

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

POWER-HUNGRY, R&B-SINGING, CARNIVOROUS PLANT SETS ITS SIGHTS
ON WORLD DOMINATION!

This deviously delicious sci-fi musical comedy comes to the Playhouse for the musical theater event of the season with some deliciously devious new twists. Featuring George Salazar (Be More Chill), Mj Rodriguez (Pose), and Amber Riley (Glee) as Audrey II, This Little Shop is unlike any you have seen before.

Created by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, and Aladdin), Little Shop of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatergoers of all ages for more than 30 years… and yours is next!

Reviews

Avatar

With this pivoted focus, this incredible new production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS also now requires a cast of performers that can truly showcase that change---and, wow, did they ever find them in this brilliant ensemble!

Anchored much more by actual realism rather than a farcical, Penny Dreadful-esque hyper-exaggeration the musical has been known for, the show pretty much axes its goofier, almost kooky machinations to embrace a much more stirring, vulnerable, and deeply layered tone that makes for almost a completely new musical.

sweet - Michael Quintos - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

The singing, dancing, strutting, and banter of Brittany Campbell, Tickwanya Jones, and Cheyenne Isabel Wells as the “Urchins” provide the thread that ties the story together.  I was not overly impressed with the puppetry and special effects as the plant exploded to more than lifesize, but by that point I was invested in the story and pleased that the Little Shop was getting more horrific.  That part of the production could be tweaked a bit but overall it was fun with a dark tinge.

sweet - Carol Edger Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Avatar

This was truly the most fun opening all year! So I thank the Pasadena Playhouse for having the courage to try something so hip and modern. I think it will be appreciated by most people who enjoy being entertained.

sweet - Karen Salkin - It's Not About Me - ...read full review


Katie Buenneke

It’s a shame that the production now playing at the Pasadena Playhouse is so underwhelming. Despite strong, additive casting, director Mike Donahue’s choices undermine the show’s text and result in a production that feels slight.

sour - Katie Buenneke - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

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.

sweet - Dena Burroughs - The Fume of Sighs - ...read full review


Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema

As Little Shop of Horrors teaches us: sometimes you just need fresh blood. In that vein, the Pasadena Playhouse more than delivers. Their audacious revival of the quirky cult classic – directed with exemplary vision by Mike Donahue – offers audiences something they may not have realized they craved. In this ground-up reimagining, complete with ingenious casting, we’re treated to a more representative sampling of the American story.

sweet - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

The score remains semi-Motown, which means that nearly every song here is memorable and singable, and each sounds delicious under music director Darryl Archibald.

But Donahue’s best directorial choice was to ensure that his actors give rich, committed portrayals, particularly George Salazar as Seymour and Mj Rodriguez as Audrey. Though Seymour loses our affection early on, Salazar remains endearing in the role, reminding us that we, too, are only a few dark steps from ethical pitfalls.

sweet-sour - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

Mj Rodriguez [co-star of the FX series Pose] is shattering glassy gender ceilings with her portrayal of [Seymour's love interest] Audrey. This is the first time this critic has (knowingly) seen a trans thespian in a lead role on the L.A. boards. Bravo!

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Avatar

The fact that the new off-Broadway revival currently in previews has already been extended eight weeks suggests a durability to the show’s appeal. The new production at Pasadena Playhouse conclusively seals the deal.

sweet-sour - Jordan Riefe - Hollywood Reporter - ...read full review


Erin Conley

This is not your mother’s Little Shop of Horrors that opened at the Pasadena Playhouse last night—most of the camp has been replaced with grit in an iteration that illuminates the realities of Skid Row life. But the results are mixed—while some performances and choices are successful, others miss the mark and seem to be the result of a confused creative vision.

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Avatar

When a huge production takes a simple and amusing story to new 'heights' we expect New Heights.  The use of hard working puppeteers to create the eventually humongous Audrey II, who, thanks to greed and promotion eventually takes over the Planet Earth, is clever and laborious. This effort deserves to be mentioned.

sweet-sour - Michael Sheehan - On Stage Los Angeles - ...read full review


Avatar

And that's the thing, all of the actors give the show they're all, but some of the directorial choices by Mike Donahue don't always work. Still, I applaud the theatre for combining the familiar with something new. This "Little Shop" is worth a visit, just don't expect a revelatory new version. It's cute, charming, and entertaining; groundbreaking it is not.

sweet-sour - Kevin Taft - Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Avatar

The production, directed by Mike Donahue, may not make a case for “Little Shop” as a top-tier American musical, but it’s by far my favorite rendition of the show...

...Donahue’s revival vibrates with virtuoso singing and authentic heart. After its grand success with “Ragtime,” Pasadena Playhouse is on a musical roll with this “Little Shop.”

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Unlike Little Shop Of Horrors’ play-it-safe 2003 Broadway remake, Pasadena Playhouse’s 2019 L.A. revival isn’t afraid to take risks. Though not all of them pay off, for its fabulous cast alone, this is one Little Shop you won’t want to miss.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

With this pivoted focus, this incredible new production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS also now requires a cast of performers that can truly showcase that change---and, wow, did they ever find them in this brilliant ensemble!

Anchored much more by actual realism rather than a farcical, Penny Dreadful-esque hyper-exaggeration the musical has been known for, the show pretty much axes its goofier, almost kooky machinations to embrace a much more stirring, vulnerable, and deeply layered tone that makes for almost a completely new musical.

sweet - Michael Quintos - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

The singing, dancing, strutting, and banter of Brittany Campbell, Tickwanya Jones, and Cheyenne Isabel Wells as the “Urchins” provide the thread that ties the story together.  I was not overly impressed with the puppetry and special effects as the plant exploded to more than lifesize, but by that point I was invested in the story and pleased that the Little Shop was getting more horrific.  That part of the production could be tweaked a bit but overall it was fun with a dark tinge.

sweet - Carol Edger Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Avatar

This was truly the most fun opening all year! So I thank the Pasadena Playhouse for having the courage to try something so hip and modern. I think it will be appreciated by most people who enjoy being entertained.

sweet - Karen Salkin - It's Not About Me - ...read full review


Katie Buenneke

It’s a shame that the production now playing at the Pasadena Playhouse is so underwhelming. Despite strong, additive casting, director Mike Donahue’s choices undermine the show’s text and result in a production that feels slight.

sour - Katie Buenneke - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

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.

sweet - Dena Burroughs - The Fume of Sighs - ...read full review


Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema

As Little Shop of Horrors teaches us: sometimes you just need fresh blood. In that vein, the Pasadena Playhouse more than delivers. Their audacious revival of the quirky cult classic – directed with exemplary vision by Mike Donahue – offers audiences something they may not have realized they craved. In this ground-up reimagining, complete with ingenious casting, we’re treated to a more representative sampling of the American story.

sweet - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

The score remains semi-Motown, which means that nearly every song here is memorable and singable, and each sounds delicious under music director Darryl Archibald.

But Donahue’s best directorial choice was to ensure that his actors give rich, committed portrayals, particularly George Salazar as Seymour and Mj Rodriguez as Audrey. Though Seymour loses our affection early on, Salazar remains endearing in the role, reminding us that we, too, are only a few dark steps from ethical pitfalls.

sweet-sour - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Avatar

Mj Rodriguez [co-star of the FX series Pose] is shattering glassy gender ceilings with her portrayal of [Seymour's love interest] Audrey. This is the first time this critic has (knowingly) seen a trans thespian in a lead role on the L.A. boards. Bravo!

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Avatar

The fact that the new off-Broadway revival currently in previews has already been extended eight weeks suggests a durability to the show’s appeal. The new production at Pasadena Playhouse conclusively seals the deal.

sweet-sour - Jordan Riefe - Hollywood Reporter - ...read full review


Erin Conley

This is not your mother’s Little Shop of Horrors that opened at the Pasadena Playhouse last night—most of the camp has been replaced with grit in an iteration that illuminates the realities of Skid Row life. But the results are mixed—while some performances and choices are successful, others miss the mark and seem to be the result of a confused creative vision.

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Avatar

When a huge production takes a simple and amusing story to new 'heights' we expect New Heights.  The use of hard working puppeteers to create the eventually humongous Audrey II, who, thanks to greed and promotion eventually takes over the Planet Earth, is clever and laborious. This effort deserves to be mentioned.

sweet-sour - Michael Sheehan - On Stage Los Angeles - ...read full review


Avatar

And that's the thing, all of the actors give the show they're all, but some of the directorial choices by Mike Donahue don't always work. Still, I applaud the theatre for combining the familiar with something new. This "Little Shop" is worth a visit, just don't expect a revelatory new version. It's cute, charming, and entertaining; groundbreaking it is not.

sweet-sour - Kevin Taft - Edge Media Network - ...read full review


Avatar

The production, directed by Mike Donahue, may not make a case for “Little Shop” as a top-tier American musical, but it’s by far my favorite rendition of the show...

...Donahue’s revival vibrates with virtuoso singing and authentic heart. After its grand success with “Ragtime,” Pasadena Playhouse is on a musical roll with this “Little Shop.”

sweet - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

Unlike Little Shop Of Horrors’ play-it-safe 2003 Broadway remake, Pasadena Playhouse’s 2019 L.A. revival isn’t afraid to take risks. Though not all of them pay off, for its fabulous cast alone, this is one Little Shop you won’t want to miss.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review