The New York City Center Encores! Off-Center production of the Alan Menken-Howard Ashman musical Little Shop of Horrors, featuring stage and screen stars Ellen Greene and Jake Gyllenhaal, began performances July 1 at the famed Manhattan venue.
Greene, who created the role of the lovably ditzy Audrey both on stage and screen, reprises that part opposite Academy Award nominee Gyllenhaal, who was seen on Broadway this past season opposite Ruth Wilson in Constellations, as down-on-his-luck plant-shop worker Seymour. The cast also features Taran Killam ("Saturday Night Live") as Orin, Eddie Cooper as the Voice of Audrey II and Joe Grifasi as Mushnik. The Urchins are portrayed by Caroline, or Change's Tracy Nicole Chapman (Chiffon), Marva Hicks (Crystal) and Ramona Keller (Ronnette).
Ellen Greene and Jake Gyllenhaal Dazzle in Little Shop of Horrors! See the First Bow and Cast Party
Little Shop of Horrors, according to City Center, is a "sci-fi musical about Seymour Krelborn (Jake Gyllenhaal), a hapless florist shop worker who pursues a doomed romance with his ditzy, lovable co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene) by acquiring an R&B-singing plant (Eddie Cooper) that feeds on human blood." Performances take place July 1 and 2 at 7:30 PM with a 2 PM matinee July 2.
Little Shop of Horrors is based on the 1960 cult movie of the same name. The musical version debuted Off-Broadway at WPA Theatre in 1982 starring Lee Wilkoff and Ellen Greene in a role that would become her signature. A Broadway production was mounted in 2003 co-starring Hunter Foster and Kerry Butler.
The Events Research Program was established to identify and track protocols that would help theatres and more venues safely welcome back audiences. Its findings have yet to reach producers and theatre operators.
Gardner McKay, an actor plucked from obscurity to star in TV's "Adventures in Paradise," but who later became distinguished as the author of one of regional theatre's most popular plays, Sea Marks, died in Honolulu Nov. 21 after a battle with prostate cancer.