Cast size: Small, 2 plus
Book by: Howard Ashman Lyrics by: Howard Ashman Music by: Alan Menken Based on the film by Roger Corman, screenplay by Charles Griffith
Classification Comedy Mystery/Thriller Nostalgia

Howard Ashman |rock musical | Small 2 plus

  • About the Show

    A down-and out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon Audrey II grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination!

    One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies has become a house-hold name, thanks to a highly successful film version and a score by the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who redefined the animated musical film with Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin. Charming, tuneful and hilarious, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Little Shop Of Horrors never fails to entertain. A small cast, band and unit set make the other aspects of production a snap.

    Now it's easier than ever to mount this constant crowd-pleaser! In addition to the RehearScore program and original logo artwork, DALRO offers scaled blueprints to help you build your own plant.

    Some content © MTI Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a Music Theatre International. Used by permission. Portions © Respective Trademark Holders. All rights reserved.

    Synopsis

    Prologue

    A VOICE, not unlike God's, can be heard. It describes a deadly threat to humanity's existence. This deadly threat surfaced (as most deadly threats do) in the seemingly most innocent and unlikely of places. CRYSTAL, RONNETTE, and CHIFFON come on and introduce the musical with the title song (Little Shop of Horrors). Singing in the style of girl groups from the sixties, they warn the audience to beware of the dangers that will happen in the course of the story.

    Act I, Scene 1

    The clock slowly moves from nine to ten a.m. in Mushnik's Skid Row Florists as an earsplitting crash echoes from the back room. SEYMOUR, in the back room, assures MUSHNIK that nothing is broken. As the clock hits two o'clock, AUDREY, Mushnik's dizzy blonde employee, comes in with a black-eye. Even though he has had no customers all day, Mushnik scolds her tardiness as another crash erupts from the back room. Noticing Audrey's black-eye, Mushnik suggests that her boyfriend is NOT a nice boy. Audrey reminds Mushnik that you don't meet nice boys on skid row. Seymour comes on with trays of re-potted plants and promptly sends them flying when he trips on his own feet in a dorky manner. Mushnik starts to yell at Seymour, but Audrey stops him. Seymour admires Audrey's eye makeup. Fed up with his existence, his lousy business, and his misfit employees, Mushnik clears Ronnette, Crystal, and Chiffon off his stoop and tells them to go to school. Crystal says there's no such thing as bettering yourself on skid row and she, Ronnette, and Chiffon describe their lives downtown (Skid Row). They can work uptown as clerks for jerks, but they always have to come downtown. Audrey joins in the song and complains that all the downtown guys are jerks and longs for something better. Seymour joins in the song as he wonders why he was set on the earth. He remembers that as an orphan, Mushnik took him in and forced him to work in the shop. Seymour constantly prays to get out of skid row. That sentiment is shared by Audrey and everyone who lives on skid row. At six o'clock, without having even one customer, Mushnik announces that he is closing the flower shop for good. Seymour suggests that the shop should move in a new direction. He has been working on a strange and interesting plant that they could display in the window to attract customers. Because Seymour could not identify the plant in any book, he decided to name it Audrey Two. Mushnik thinks displaying the plant is a ridiculous idea. At the same time, a CUSTOMER shows up asking about the strange and interesting plant in the window. As the urchins back him up, Seymour describes how he bought the plant from an old Chinese man during a total eclipse of the sun (Da-Doo). Fascinated by the story, the Customer decides to buy one hundred dollars worth of roses. After the Customer leaves, Mushnik puts Audrey Two in the window and offers to take Seymour and Audrey out to dinner. Audrey declines because she has a date with her professional rebel. Seymour is still able to go to dinner, but Mushnik orders Seymour to stay with Audrey Two who is wilting and looks unhealthy. Left alone with the plant, Seymour does not know what the plant needs. He sings about how he's given it everything a plant could need. What more could this plant wantblood? On the word, blood, Audrey Two perks up, and Seymour realizes that a few drops of human blood will make Audrey Two grow and grow and grow (Grow For Me).

    Act 1, Scene 2

    Seymour is interviewed on a radio show as a botanical genius because he has seemingly invented a new breed of plant life. Seymour reminds the listeners that Audrey Two is on display at Mushnik's Skid Row Florists. Although he is unhappy that Seymour did not give the shop's address, Mushnik sings about his new-found success. When Seymour returns to Skid Row with Audrey Two (who by this time is snapping at the humans), he is greeted by Chiffon, Ronnette, and Crystal who celebrate Seymour's success (Ya Never Know). Audrey rushes on and apologizes to Seymour for missing the broadcast. She was handcuffed to her boyfriend. Ronnette, Chiffon, and Crystal suggest Audrey get a new man-preferably a little botanical genius. In the song, Somewhere That's Green, Audrey dreams of the life that she and Seymour could have in the suburbs.

    Act 1, Scene 3

    A week later, the flower shop is undergoing a major renovation (Closed for Renovation). Because Audrey Two has been attracting a lot of customers, Mushnik, Seymour and Audrey are making much needed improvements to the store. Audrey Two is now five feet tall with spiked leaves. After the song, Mushnik asks Seymour about a very important funeral account. When Seymour admits that he's forgotten about it, Mushnik yells at him and storms off. Audrey tells Seymour that she thinks Mushnik's too hard on him. Seymour feels he owes Mushnik for getting him out of the Skid Row Home for Boys. Audrey thinks Seymour should raise his expectations and offers to take him shopping for new clothes. Surprised that Audrey wants to be seen in public with him, Seymour asks if she's free that night. Unfortunately, Audrey has a date. On the street, ORIN SCRIVELLO, in a black leather jacket, asks Crystal, Ronnette, and Chiffon where the flower shop is, so he can pick up his date. Realizing that Orin gave Audrey her black eye, the girls descend on Orin and beat him up. Orin offers a truce and explains that he is not a monster. Actually, his work requires a fascination with pain and suffering. He is a dentist and describes his life's calling to cause pain and misery (Dentist!). Orin pops his head in Mushnik's Skid Row Florists Shop. Amazed by Audrey Two, Orin tells Seymour that he shouldn't stay on skid row because the plant is a ticket to something better. Audrey tries to explain that Seymour is loyal, but Orin stifles her conversation and tells Seymour he should think about quitting Mushnik's. Orin and Audrey leave quickly with handcuffs. Mushnik, having eavesdropped on what Orin said, returns to the shop. While Seymour worries about Audrey, Mushnik worries about losing Audrey Two if Seymour leaves. Mushnik offers to adopt Seymour as his son (Mushnik and Son). Happy that his luck has changed but feeling dizzy from feeding Audrey Two, so much of his own blood, Seymour starts to go to get some dinner. The plant wilts, but Seymour assures it that he will feed it in a few days. Suddenly the plant speaks. Feed me! it says. Seymour says he has no more blood left, but the plant demands more. The plant tells Seymour that he will have fortune and success if he just feeds it. Seymour has strong reservations about killing people, but the plant reminds Seymour that a lot of people deserve to die. At this very opportune moment, Orin and Audrey return. Audrey has forgotten her sweater, and Orin slaps her around for it. Seymour and the plant reach the same conclusionthe guy sure looks like plant food (Git It).

    Act 1, Scene 4

    Seymour finds Orin at his office and points a gun at him. Orin easily takes the gun from Seymour, wrestles him into the dentist's chair, and threatens him with the drill. Orin pulls out a container of laughing gas, complete with a gas mask and puts it on himself to get high. In a gassed-out blissful moment, Orin disappears behind the chair. Seymour realizes that he should kill Orin now while he has the opportunity, but he can not bring himself to pull the trigger. Meanwhile, Orin can not get his gas mask off and realizes that he could asphyxiate to death. After much internal ethical debate, Seymour decides not to remove Orin's gas mask. Consequently, Orin laughs himself to death (Now (It's Just The Gas)).

    Act 1, Coda

    As Seymour feeds Orin's body parts to the plant, Crystal, Ronnette, and Chiffon sing about the creepy things happening in the flower shop.

    Act 2, Scene 1

    The sign in the flower shop window now reads Mushnik and Son. Audrey and Mushnik busily take flower orders over the phone while Ronnette leads another customer into the store. Late for a meeting with his lawyer, Mushnik runs out as Seymour runs in after making another delivery. Audrey asks him to help her with the phone orders. Audrey and Seymour handle a deluge of phone calls from customers (Call Back In The Morning). When the clock hits six, Audrey and Seymour tell the callers to call back in the morning and they sit down exhausted. Seymour tells Audrey that he's been shopping for a new wardrobe and shows off his new black leather jacket to her. Speechless and overcome with emotion, Audrey runs out. Seymour, taking off the jacket, follows her outside and tells her that he just wanted to impress her. Audrey admits that she is relieved that Orin is missing, however, she feels guilty because she secretly wishes that he has met with a foul and terrible accident. Seymour tells her that she deserves a nice guy, but Audrey says she only meets creeps in the Gutter, a nightspot where she works in cheap and tasteless outfits. Seymour sees the girl underneath the makeup and he vows to be her friend (Suddenly Seymour). Joining in the song, Audrey hopes Seymour will help her find the girl inside her. After their duet, Seymour and Audrey embrace passionately, but Mushnik walks in on them. Staring at Seymour, Mushnik ominously asks Audrey if she'd like to visit her dentist friend. Seymour reminds Mushnik that Orin disappeared, and sends Audrey home. When Audrey is gone, Mushnik notices little red dots on the floor. Seymour says he spilled punch. Mushnik says he was called to the police station because a Mushnik's shopping bag was found in Orin's office. Then, going through the trash (which is only collected once a month), Mushnik finds a dentist's uniform. As the plant begins to sing, Mushnik accuses Seymour of killing the dentist in order to get his girl. Seymour maintains his innocence until Mushnik shows him a picture of his baseball cap that was found in Orin's office. Seymour agrees to go to the police station with Mushnik, but tells Mushnik that he forgot the combination to the safe and left the day's receipts in the plant. As Ronnette, Chiffon, and Crystal sing, Mushnik knocks on the plant. The plant opens wide, lets Mushnik in, traps him inside, and starts to chew (Suppertime).

    Act 2, Scene 2

    As Seymour leaves the flower shop, Ronnette, Chiffon, and Crystal accost him like squealing teenage fans. They tell Seymour that another Uptown big shot is looking for him. Offers are coming in fast and furious as BERNSTEIN from NBC offers Seymour his own show, MRS. LUCE offers Seymour a magazine cover and an AGENT offers him a lecturing tour. Realizing that his success will come with more killing, Seymour decides to kill the plant. However, he thinks of lovely Audrey who might not like him without his plant. Determined to keep Audrey, Seymour takes the offers as the girls remind us that the meek always get what's coming to them (The Meek Shall Inherit).

    Act 2, Scene 3

    The plant, now taking up most of the stage, demands to be fed. Busy writing his lecture tour speech, Seymour promises that after they are photographed for Life Magazine, it will never be hungry again. The plant continues to demand food, and Seymour becomes hysterical. Audrey comes in and worries that the stress of running the shop is getting to Seymour. She asks when Mr. Mushnik will return. Seymour reminds her that he is visiting his sister in Czechoslovakia and will be gone a long time. Seymour then asks Audrey if she would still like him without Audrey Two. Audrey admits that she'd still love him. Hearing this, Seymour decides to kill the plant after Life Magazine takes their picture; then Seymour and Audrey would have the suburban life together they always dreamed of. Audrey can not understand what Seymour is talking about. Assuring her that he will explain everything, he sends her home. The clock strikes midnight, and the plant continues to demand food. Seymour offers to get it a pound of rare roast beef. The plant, seeing Audrey return, agrees. Seymour leaves. Unable to sleep, Audrey needs to talk to Seymour. In a reprise of Suppertime, the plant calls to Audrey who is surprised that it can talk. The plant tells her that it needs to be watered. When Audrey comes close to it with the watering can, the plant grabs her. Starting to eat her, the plant tells her to relax because she'll soon be with Mushnik and Orin. Seymour charges in and pulls Audrey out of the plant. Weak and dying, Audrey asks Seymour about Mushnik and Orin. Seymour admits that he had fed them to the plant. Audrey tells Seymour to feed her dead body to the plant, so that the plant will bring him all the wonderful things he deserves. Seymour refuses, but Audrey convinces him that if she's inside the plant, they will always be together. She sings a reprise of Some-where That's Green and dies in Seymour's arms. As the music swells and the sunset goes nuts, Seymour feeds Audrey's body to Audrey Two. PATRICK MARTIN from World Botanical Enterprises finds Seymour shattered by Audrey's demise. Martin wants to take leaf cutting from Audrey Two and sell them to every florist in America. Pretty soon, every household in America will have its own Audrey II. Martin goes back to his truck to get some flowerpots. Seymour realizes that the plant has been planning world conquest all along. The plant tells Seymour that it is too late to stop it. Seymour pulls out a gun and shoots the plant. The plant laughs. Seymour forces the plant to eat rat poison. The plant just spits it out. Seymour grabs a machete and climbs into the plant. The plant closes in on him and spits out the machete. Martin returns with pruning shears and flowerpots. Ronnette, Chiffon, and Crystal take clippings of the plant and describe how the plants ate Cleveland, Des Moines, Peoria, New York, and this theatre. Audrey Two grows larger as the faces of Seymour, Mushnik, Audrey, and Orin appear in the plant's flowers. The faces warn the audience not to feed the plants (Don't Feed The Plants). As the company continues to warn to the audience not to feed the plants, vines come down over the audience's head, and the plant engulfs the theatre. Lights go to black as the audience is eaten.

    Musical Numbers

    Sominex-(Audrey. Audrey II)
    Prologue-(Little Shop of Horrors,Crystal, Ronnette, Chiffon)
    Skid Row-(Downtown,Company)
    Da - Doo-(Seymour, Crystal, Ronnette, Chiffon)
    Grow for Me-(Seymour)
    Don't It Go to Show Ya Never Know-(Crystal, Ronnette, Chiffon, Mushnick, Seymour)
    Somewhere That's Green-(Audrey)
    Closed for Renovations-(Company)
    Dentist!-(Orin, Crystal, Ronnette, Chiffon)
    Mushnik and Son-(Mushnick, Seymour)
    Feed Me (Git It)-(Audrey II, Seymour)
    Now (It's Just the Gas)-(Orin, Seymour)
    Call Back in the Morning-(Company)
    Suddenly, Seymour-(Audrey, Seymour)
    Suppertime-(Audrey II, Audrey)
    The Meek Shall Inherit-(Crystal, Ronnette, Chiffon, Company)
    Finale (Don't Feed the Plants)-(Company)

    Casting Information

    Musical Style:
    Blues
    Contemporary
    Gospel
    Jazz
    Pop
    Musical Difficulty:
    Easy to learn
    Easy to sing
    Show Cast Size:
    Small (2-10)
    (5 Men/4 Women)
    Show Chorus Size:
    Optional
    Show Dance Required:
    Minimum
    Notes:
    Includes older role(s)
    Star vehicle - female
    Star vehicle - male
    A puppeteer needed for Audrey II
    Ethnic roles
    Character Breakdown:

    SEYMOUR Mid-twenties and perhaps balding a little. Our insecure, naive, put-upon, florist's clerk hero. Above all, he's a sweet and well-meaning little man. He is not a silly, pratfalling nerd, and therefore should not be played as the hero of a Jerry Lewis film.

    Low A to High G

    AUDREY The bleached-blond, Billie-Dawn-like, secret love of his life. If you took Judy Holiday, Carol Channing, Mailyn Monroe and Goldie Hawn, removed their education and feelings of self-worth, dressed them in spiked heels and a low-cut black dress, and then shook them all up in a test tube to extract what's sweetest and most vunerable-that'd be Audrey.

    Low A to High D

    MR. MUSHNIK Their boss. A failure of an East Side florist. His accent, if he has one, is more that of middle class New York than of Eastern Europe. He seldom smiles but often sweats.

    Low G to High E flat

    ORIN A tall, dark, handsome dentist with a black leather jacket and sadistic tendencies. He is NOT, however, a leftover from the movie version of GREASE. Think instead of an egotistical pretty-boy all got up like a greaser but thinking like an insurance salesman and talking like a radio announcer. (The actor who plays A Voice not unlike God's, Wino #2, Customer, Radio Announcer, Mr. Berstein, Mrs. Luce, Skip Snip, and Patrick Martin.)

    THE PLANT (AUDREY II) An anthropomorphic cross between a Venus flytrap and an avocado. It has a huge, nasty-looking pod which gains a shark-like aspect when open and snapping at food. The creature is played by a series of four increasing large puppets, manipulated by one Puppeteer. (Who also plays Wino #1 in the first scene.) The first time we see The Plant, it is less than one foot tall. The last time we see it, it fills the entire stage.

    VOICE OF THE PLANT Provided by an actor on an offstage microphone. It is important that this actor have clear visual access to the puppets onstage, so that he can provide accurate lip-synch. The sound is a cross between Otis Redding, Barry White, and Wolfman Jack. Think of The Voice as that of a street-smart, funky, conniving villain Rhythm and Blues' answer to Richard the Third.

    CRYSTAL, RONNETTE AND CHIFFON Three black female street urchins who function as participants in the action and a Greek Chorus outside it. They're young, hip, smart and the only people in the whole cast who REALLY know what's going on. In their Greek Chorus capacity, they occassionally sing to the audience directly. And when they do, it's often with a "secret-smile" that says: "we know something you don't know."

    Rehearsal Set

    12 x LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK
    2 x PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE
    1 x STUDY GUIDE
    1 x HOW TO AUDREY II

    Orchestration

    Orchestra Size:
    Small
    Orchestrations by Robby Merkin
    Instrumentation:
    1 GUITAR (6-string electric, 6-string acoustic)
    1 KEYBOARDS (Synthesizer, Organ, Electric Piano)
    1 PERCUSSION (Drums Bells, Bongo, Castanets, Kit, Mark Tree)
    1 BASS

    Resources

    Logo Pack
    Rehearscore®
    Stage Manager Script
    Study Guide

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