‘Little Shop of Horrors’ chomps out great fun this October

photos by Scott Treadway/Treadshots


Reviewed by Dennis Ray

Little Shop of Horrors by now legendary composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman ( the musical team behind Disney’s Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast) made its debut Friday, October 6 at Flat Rock Playhouse to a packed house.

The musical is a tongue-in-cheek farce about a down-on-his-luck florist and a plant with a desire for human blood. Based on the 1960 low-budget black comedy film of the same name (known mostly today as one of the first films to star Jack Nicholson), Horrors blends together the many rock-n-roll music styles of the early ’60s. Many of the play’s tunes have become well-known including the title song, “Suddenly, Seymour,” “Skid Row (Downtown),” and “Somewhere That’s Green.”

In 1982 Horrors premiered Off-Off-Broadway before moving to its five-year run at the Orpheum Theatre then became one of the longest-running Off-Broadway hits of all time.  The musical, later turned into a 1986 film of the same name, was directed by Frank Oz.

As expected Flat Rock Playhouse did an incredible job of putting this production together with top performances from a stellar national cast including Jeremiah James (Seymour Krelburn), Preston Dyar (Mr. Mushnik) and Ryah Nixon (Audrey). As well as local favorite CJ Barnwell (Voice of Audrey II {The Plant}) and Christopher D. Kirby (Audrey II Puppeteer) who is also the General Manager at Flat Rock Playhouse.

The play although 25 years old seems fresh and always entertaining (though a few of the play’s references probably won’t translate well with folks under 40). The production value is top-notch, and the effects (puppeteering) are quite stunning. My 9-year-old son, who accompanied me enjoyed this play saying it was just as good as “The Nerd” we saw early this summer at HART Theatre in Waynesville which he then exclaimed, “Best play ever!”

Little Shop of Horrors makes for great Halloween fun.
Seats from $15 – $50
Located 30 minutes from Asheville, the Mainstage Theatre in Flat Rock is a 506 seat auditorium-style theatre.
October 6 – 21.