Ripley, Foster and Company to Record Little Shop CD June 23

News   Ripley, Foster and Company to Record Little Shop CD June 23
The Broadway-bound production of Little Shop of Horrors — starring Alice Ripley and Hunter Foster — will be recorded in June.

A spokesperson for the production confirmed that the Alan Menken-Howard Ashman musical will be recorded June 23 by Sony Classical. A release date has yet to be announced.

The musical about beleaguered Skid Row plant-shop clerk Seymour (Foster) and Audrey (Ripley), the woman of his dreams, recently began a “developmental engagement” at the Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida. This run will allow the production a chance to perfect the complex scenic elements of the musical prior to the full scale New York production this summer. The official Florida opening is scheduled for May 16, and the musical will play through June 15.

The New York production at the Virginia Theatre, which marks the musical's Broadway bow, will begin previews July 22 prior to an official opening Aug. 14. Tickets for that production will go on sale to the general public June 8. An AmericanExpress ad for the musical ran in the May 11 New York Times, offering Gold Card members a chance to purchase tickets before the general on-sale date.

As previously reported on Playbilll On-Line, the cast of the new staging of the musical spoof of B-grade horror pictures includes Foster (as Seymour), Ripley (as Audrey), Billy Porter (as the voice of Audrey II), Reg Rogers (as dentist-sadist Orin), Lee Wilkof (as Mr. Mushnik), Dioni Michelle Collins (as Crystal), Haneefah Wood (as Ronnette) and Moeisha McGill (as Chiffon). Emmy Award-winning actor Robert Stack ("The Untouchables") has recorded a voiceover that will open the musical.

Audrey II, the alien plant that threatens to devour the world, has been designed by puppeteer Martin P. Robinson, who will also control the plant from within. Robinson recently told the Miami Herald that the plant will extend over several rows of seats and be able to grab theatregoers. "I want wet seats!," said Robinson, "They should be covered in plastic." Robinson also designed the original Audrey II for its lengthy Off-Broadway run. Connie Grappo directs the new production with choreography by Kathleen Marshall. The remainder of the creative team comprises Henry Aronson (musical director), Scott Pask (scenic designer), Laura Bauer (costume designer), Donald Holder (lighting designer) and T. Richard Fitzgerald (sound designer).

Tickets for the Florida run are priced at $27 during previews. After opening, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings and all matinee performances are $35; Friday and Saturday evening tickets are $40. Tickets may be purchased by calling the theatre's box office at (305) 444-9293 or Ticketmaster at (305) 358-5885. The Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre is located at 280 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, FL; for more information,

The original production of Little Shop of Horrors opened at the old WPA Theatre in Chelsea and then transferred to the Orpheum Theatre in 1982, where it stayed for 2,209 performances. Ashman, who died on March 14, 1991, directed the piece. Edie Cowan was choreographer. The musical, which boasts such tunes as "Suddenly Seymour," "Downtown" and "Somewhere That's Green," was made into a 1986 film starring Ellen Greene as Audrey, Rick Moranis as Seymour, Vincent Gardenia as Mushnik and Steve Martin as Orin, the dentist.

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