Performances are now underway for Exit 82's production of Little Shop of Horrors. The Toms River Theatre Company has set the musical inside a black-and-white episode of Rod Serling's TV series The Twilight Zone, directed and choreographed by Exit 82 co-founder Billy Cardone.
Little Shop of Horrors features book by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Ashman. The musical tells the story of a floral shop assistant who discovers a foul-mouthed carnivorous plant with an insatiable appetite.
"Little Shop of Horrors instantly stood out at something that would be from an episode of The Twilight Zone," says Cardone. "By using absurd situations and ‘out-of-this-world’ characters, Serling was able to create these fictional stories that tied back to organic human morals. He was a fan of pulp fiction stories, [but he also] sought topics with themes such as racism, government, war, society, and human nature in general."
Little Shop of Horrors stars Ryan Everett Wood as Seymour, Carly Cosentino as Audrey, Emily DeMaio as Crystal, Vicky Fleisch as Ronnette, Maria Utz as Chiffon, Joe Hausvater as Mr. Mushnick, Gerald Daniel as Voice of Audrey 2, and Matthew Sarnovsky as Orin Scravello. The ensemble is made up of Zack Bliss, Evan Kudish, and Jennifer Shrestha.
Performances began October 12 and continue through October 28.
The creative team also includes Exit 82 co-founder Keely Davenport (assistant director and choreographer) , Chris Sabol (musical director), Desiree Davenport and Frankie Confalone (costume design), Sean Openshaw (set design), Lexi Davenport (producer), and Amy LaPosa (assistant producer). The production is sponsored by Narcissus Florals.