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Little Shop photoThe Wagner College Theatre celebrates the opening of its 45th season with a new production of the popular award-winning musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” running October 2 through 13 on its main stage in Main Hall.

Directed by Wagner professor and Tony Award-winner Michele Pawk, with music direction by professor Lauri Young, “Little Shop of Horrors” features a book and lyrics by Howard Ashman with music by Alan Menken.

This affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies centers on Seymour, a down-and-out Skid Row floral assistant who 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 Seymour fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination!

“I saw ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ three times at the Orpheum Theatre when it opened,” said director Michele Pawk from her Main Hall office. “I was mesmerized by how seemingly simple the storytelling, acting and puppetry seemed to be, when I knew how complex and intricate the process must have been. It’s so much fun to revisit this gem of a musical with the Wagner College Theatre cast, who are exploring the 1960s for the first time.”

The Wagner College Theatre production features senior theatre performance majors John Alati (Seymour), Lauren Wagner (Audrey), Tom Horvath (Mr. Mushnik), Bronwyn Whittle (Ronette) and Brian Falduto (Audrey II Puppet).

The production design team includes Phil Hickox (sets), Sara Bandurian (costumes), Vicki Neal (lights), and Richard Kroth (sound). Senior K.T. Sanders is production stage manager.

Based on the low-budget 1967 film directed by Roger Corman, screenplay by Charles Griffith, that featured a young Jack Nicholson, “Little Shop of Horrors” debuted Off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre in 1982. Directed by Howard Ashman, the production transferred to the Off-Broadway Orpheum Theatre, where it ran for 5 years and 2,209 performances, winning Best Musical from the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, Drama Desk Awards and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin were featured in the 1986 film version. Hunter Foster and Kerry Butler led the Broadway production, directed by Kathleen Marshall, in 2003.

Wagner College Theatre previously presented “Little Shop of Horrors” in the 1989-90 Season.

Located in Main Hall, the Wagner College Theatre box office can be contacted at (718) 390-3259 or  Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 12 to 4 p.m.  Season subscriptions from $60 to $104 are available now. Single tickets are on sale for “Little Shop of Horrors,” with price ranges for children, senior and adult tickets. Wagner College students attend free with current ID.


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