Little Shop of Horrors

MANSFIELD — The stage of the Renaissance Theatre will be transformed into Skid Row starting this weekend with the opening of "Little Shop of Horrors." 

Meek flower shop assistant Seymour pines for his beautiful but troubled coworker, Audrey. During a total eclipse, he discovers an unusual plant he names Audrey II, which feeds only on human flesh and blood. 

In many ways, the Renaissance's stage adaption mirrors the 1986 film which in turn is a film adaptation of the 1982 off-Broadway musical comedy. But director Ryan Shealy has made some creative decisions that change the show for the better. 

"It's such a well-known show done by pretty much every high school in America, and the movie is so ubiquitous you either do something straight traditional or something totally different," Shealy said.

"I knew I wanted to modernize it and get it out of New York; Los Angeles' skid row was the obvious choice and the 90s was an obvious choice because it was a tumultuous time there. The idea that an evil force would descend upon that specific moment and that place of such turmoil made sense for us." 

Opening this weekend, you don't want to miss this hilarious smash-hit musical!

LIVE and IN PERSON on the Renaissance main stage April 17-25, get your tickets at https://bit.ly/2PLGwTw

Little Shop of Horrors is also available for At-Home Streaming at select times April 20 - April 25. For streaming tickets visit: http://bit.ly/RenLittleShopStream

Starring:

Ryan Shreve as Seymour

Emma Skaggs as Audrey

Condrea Webber as Audrey II

Leiah Lewis as Crystal

Antonio Brown as Ronnette

Nykera Katherine as Chiffon

Scott Leon Smith as Orin Scrivello D.D.S.

Beau Roberts as Mr. Mushnik

Directed By Ryan Shealy

Musical Director: Kelly Knowlton

Asst. Music Director: Jenna Krivosh

Technical Director: Aaron James Nicolas

Asst. Tech. Director: Nik Demers

Choreographer: Caroline Grace Williams

Costume Design: Linda Turske

Set & Puppet Design: Jason Kaufman

Set Construction & Stage Manager: Abe Swanger

Live Stream Coordinator: Leona Brown

Feed the need for musical hilarity with this delicious sci-fi smash about a man-eating plant, featuring the 2003 Broadway orchestrations. A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre-goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

Little Shop of Horrors the Musical | In-Person at Renaissance Theatre is brought to you by

The Renaissance Broadway Series Presenter:

Park National Bank, Mansfield Ohio

With additional support from our season sponsors:

DRM Productions

Schmidt Security Pro

Lind Media Company

WMFD TV

Mix106.1FM WVNO

Hughie's Event Production Services

Richland County Foundation

Ohio Arts Council

Richland Source

Charles P. Hahn of Cleveland Financial Group

Coffy Creations Photography

Due to mandates from the State of Ohio, we are limited to 25% capacity for in-person events. Tickets to this event will sell out quickly.

Get your tickets at https://bit.ly/2PLGwTw

The Renaissance Theatre is a performing arts theater located at 138 Park Avenue West, Mansfield, Ohio. For more information about the Ren, visit rentickets.org or contact renaissance@mansfieldtickets.com. Follow the Ren on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.

Changing the time and place of "Little Shop" makes the show much more "hip hop" instead of "doo wop," said Leiah Lewis, who plays Crystal, one of three street urchins. Accompanying Lewis in the Greek chorus is Antonio Brown as Ronnette and Nykera Gardner as Chiffon. 

"We are all old enough to get the aftershocks of the 90s vibes and even been part of some reverberations of the 90s culture to do less of an imitation and more like, we grew up with this and remember this," Brown said. "And the feeling of LA and the west coast, there's a cool, grungy, hard dichotomy that's also super smooth." 

Lewis added that the new setting brings more soul to the show, especially with the casting of Condrea Webber as the plant, Audrey II. 

"It's really cool because it's big shoes to fill; mostly men have played this role, so for (Shealy) to give me the freedom to be big and bold and boisterous has been really fun," Webber said. 

Gender-blind casting was also a conscious choice for Shealy, who is building a reputation for bold creative choices after directing both "The Last 5 Years" and "Cabaret." 

"To me, it made a lot of sense to have a female plant because I think it adds to the almost love triangle between Seymour, Audrey and Audrey II," Shealy said. "Having her be a sexy woman who is tempting him with all these things adds a whole other layer to the relationship."

The way Audrey II will be presented to the audience is "not what people are used to," without giving too much away. Costume choices are creative for everyone in the cast - including Audrey, played by Emma Skaggs, who sports a bright pink wig. 

"I was very overwhelmed going into this role," Skaggs said. "I wasn't too familiar with it when we started, so it's like starting from ground zero - how do I think these lines would be said, instead of, how did someone else do this?

"But it's just ridiculous in the best way," she continued. "Every character is so different and defined, and the way we all interact is crazy and fun." 

"Little Shop of Horrors" will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, then again at 8 p.m. April 24 and 2:30 p.m. April 25. Doors open 30 minutes before each performance.

Due to health mandates from the state of Ohio, the Renaissance is limited to 25% capacity for in-person events - about 300 of the venue's 1,400 seats can be filled with guests.

"We aren't just doing things to make money, it really is about the artistic fulfillment and telling these stories in a unique and meaningful way that hopefully connects with our community," Shealy said. "We are creating this for us and for the community so that they can have an amazing theatrical experience right here in Mansfield."

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