Little Shop of Horrors, one of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time (and a recent hit on Broadway), came to Hershey Area Playhouse! Mark W. Arner directed this show, which is an affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi, Pulp-Fictionish “B” movies. Mark was seen in the Playhouse’s production of Nuncrackers, but is no stranger to theatre. He has over 20 years experience in just about all aspects of theatrical production from performer, director, choreographer, writer and producer. He was very excited to head this incredible production.
According to Mark Arner, “Little Shop is one of my favorites and the most fun a person can have in a musical out there. What other show can boast a cast of odd but lovable characters, with a sweet yet outlandish plot and has a rockin’ musical score? The composer and Lyricist were Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. That’s right, before Beauty had her Beast or Ariel learned to sing, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken created an Off-Broadway hit with Little Shop and made a star out of a man-eating plant named Audrey Two from another world.”
For anyone unfamiliar with the show, Audrey II is anthropomorphic cross between a Venus Flytrap and an avocado. It has a huge nasty-looking pod, which gains a shark-like aspect when open and snapping at food. The creature is played by a series of four increasingly large puppets, manipulated by one Puppeteer. The first time we see The Plant, it is less than one foot tall. The last time we see it, it fills the stage. When asked about the challenges of the plant for the production Mark says, “ I can’t wait to have audiences just feet away from a large plant pod that keeps devouring its cast. We have a professional Puppet lined up and it looks great! This show is gonna be BIG!”
A down-and-out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination!