Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

  • Genre Musical
  • Stage Music Theatre
  • Premiere21. May 2011
  • Length2:30 hod.
  • Number of reprises24
  • Final performance26. January 2015

a comedy horror musical

Mr Mutchnik’s flower shop is an out-of-the-way store which is seldom visited by any customers. Hence, its owner is grumpy and he never smiles at his two helpers – the rash, naïve Seymour and the sweet Audrey who is haunted by life. However, everything changes one day when Seymour, during a solar eclipse, buys a strange plant in an exotic shop. A plant which he has never seen and the name of which he couldn’t find in any of the clever books, a plant which makes a change in the lives of all those present. Seymour names it Audrey 2, in honour of the girl that he meets every day and whom he loves platonically, though she dates a sadistic dentist, Orin. Only the one small moment when the strange plant appears in the flower shop window is enough to make the shop extremely popular. Every passer-by wants to want to have a closer look at this plant which looks a bit like an avocado and a bit like a carnivorous plant. The cash box is starting to fill but Audrey 2 starts to wilt until Seymour discovers by chance the kind of watering his plant is longing for. Human blood! Seymour starts to look for food for it, the plant grows and the whole world is interested in this strange plant, while her owner becomes a famous person and tries to hide the true nature of the monster he has grown. The musical black comedy Little Shop of Horrors was created by Howard Ashman (libretto) and Alan Menken (music) based on an American low-budget film from the year 1960, where the brutal dentist was acted by Jack Nicholson as one of his first roles. The authors adapted the story, added sixties-style rock´n´roll and presented it off-Broadway in 1982. Since then, the musical has become famous all over the world and in 1986, a famous Oscar-nominated film version was made under the direction of Frank Oz.

Author

  • Howard Ashman
  • Alan Menken

Directed by

Assistant director

Translation

  • Ivo T. Havlů

Costumes

  • Aleš Valášek

Dramaturgist

Stage

  • Aleš Valášek

Music production

Choreography

  • Lucie Holánková

Assistant choreography

Dramaturgical cooperation

  • Ondřej Doubrava

vocal production

Music arrangement

Little Shop of Horrors – a black comedy and horror musical at the end of the theatre season

Kateřina Šebelová 7. June 2011 zdroj Velká Epocha

Little Shop of Horrors – a black comedy and horror musical at the end of the theatre season
A great palette of actors...
Jakub Uličník is simply cute in the role of Seymour – he fights with his role bravely just as Seymour struggles with his frightening secret and his love problems. He doesn´t want to harm the flower, which is gradually turning into a bloodthirsty monster, or anyone else, with the exception of his platonic love’s friend. He doesn´t know how to be bad and he plays his role excellently. Audrey (Alena Antalová) also gives a bravura performance as a naïve Barbie who is controlled by her sadistic friend, the dentist Orin (Martin Havelka); she is very convincing and you would probably believe anything from her.
Martin Havelka is thrilling as the cruel dentist who is never far from erupting into violence; he plays Orin with unbelievable animal force and physicality. The story is completed nicely with a trio of girls (Hana Holišová, Michaela Horká, Tereza Martinková) who accompany the spectators in an unobtrusive way throughout the whole affair; they are probably the only characters who actually know what is going on there. As far as acting is concerned, Little Shop of Horrors is simply flawless. The puppeteer Petr Neméth, who controls the ever-growing plant throughout the whole performance, also deserves praise – his puppet grows from 30 cm up to a giant specimen which takes up almost the whole stage.
 
Black humour with a sprinkling of vulgar words
The scenery and revolving stage are both excellent; the latter changes from a flower shop into a dentist’s surgery or to a busy street in which tearaway Orin rides his motorbike. The musical and singing parts aren’t a disappointment either, and they enhance the dramatic and comedy numbers with wit and ease. Little Shop of Horrors is undoubtedly an original piece which will be appreciated by lovers of suspense, black humour and B-movie parodies. Moreover, fans of musicals will also enjoy the songs.

Brno City Theatre showed the musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors at the Music Theatre as its last premiere of the season

David Kroča 7. June 2011 zdroj Czech Radio 3 – Vltava

Little Shop of Horrors
Brno City Theatre showed the musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors at the Music Theatre as its last premiere of the season
This musical, which had its premiere in 1982, is based on the American low-budget film Little Shop of Horrors from 1960. It is the third time that the musical Little Shop of Horrors has been performed in the Czech Republic, and it just so happens that it is in Brno once again.
The current production by Petr Gazdík can make use of the high-quality technical equipment of the Music Theatre, unlike in the case of the previous two productions, and also a well-balanced acting ensemble; the results are highly visible. This crazy story, which ends up with basically all the protagonists being eaten, doesn´t however give the impression of being embarrassing at Brno City Theatre. This parody on various trashy genres, including horror, romance novels or 2nd class musicals, is based on a simple principle: a good satire doesn´t need overacting or obvious symbolism. Moreover, a generalizing rule can be read between the lines of the sometimes seemingly simpleminded texts in Ivo T. Havlů´s translation: in these times it is not only mutated carnivorous plants that can literally eat us alive.
The revolving set by Aleš Valášek features a brick-walled shop with a huge and (of course) also moving puppet of a flesh-eating plant which gradually grows bigger and even moves its massive lips when singing. Dušan Vitázek lent his voice to this dangerous plant and also gained an acting opportunity in the rewarding ‘cameo’ role of a masochistic patient in a dentist’s chair. The crazy dentist, alias weak Audrey’s egoistic friend, was played by Igor Ondříček when I saw the reprise, while Lukáš Janota played the role of the forgetful flower shop helper with the necessary verve. Naturally, as far as acting and singing was concerned, Alena Antalová dominated the performance as Audrey, her character condensing the simplicity of a bleached blonde and the impressive certainty of a musical solo singer. Brno’s Little Shop of Horrors is an entertaining and well-crafted musical spectacle.

Brno City Theatre has prepared an unbelievable spectacle for you

Avion Shopping Park Brno magazine 1. June 2011 zdroj Avion Shopping Park Brno magazine, summer 2011

Brno City Theatre has prepared an unbelievable spectacle for you
We went to see the premiere of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS so that we can heartily recommend the new performance to you. Believe us, it’s an unforgettable experience which will entertain you!
A two-metre-high carnivorous plant which can swallow people in one go and is never full… Does this seem impossible to you? Well, such a plant really exists and it can even be seen in Brno! What are we talking about? It’s like this: if you want to have a great time you should go to Brno City Theatre to watch the musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors. You will enjoy yourselves greatly! This great charm of this production lies in the fact that you will forget all your momentary troubles when you’re watching it; you will be carried away by an immensely entertaining story which is a bit of a parody on musicals, the horror genre and B-movies.
Little Shop of Horrors is exactly the kind of performance where you can show your adolescent child that theatre is far from boring! What and who will grab your interest? Definitely the music, which is full of a great many ideas and has pace. Add to this the excellent acting performances from Alena Antalová, Markéta Sedláčková, Igor Ondříček, Martin Havelka, Jakub Uličník and Lukáš Janota and, of course, the one that is always hungry, the bloodthirsty exotic plant which will grow to a huge size during the performance and will start moving and finally even speaking. The scenes with the carnivorous plant are the most rewarding ones – they entertain spectators regardless of their age. Go and see for yourself!
 

HORROR SQUARED

Naďa Parmová 1. June 2011 zdroj Blanenské a boskovické noviny

HORROR SQUARED
The actors at Brno City Theatre have discovered the world of parody, entertainment and satire and are making the most of it with the verve and joy so typical for them.
After The Book with No Name, we now have the opportunity to see the Little Shop of Horrors again. I say “again” correctly because it had its Czechoslovak premiere at the Mrštík Brothers Theatre in 1990, with Erik Pardus in the role of Seymour and Karel Jánský as Mr. Mushnik.
The immensely peculiar plant which Seymour grew in Mr. Mushnik´s flower shop brought them not only money and success but also asks a cruel price; it needs human blood to grow. But where can one get it? I won´t say; you wouldn´t enjoy it so much anymore. However, you will certainly be entertained by the amazing music rehearsed and arranged by Dan Kalousek, as well as by Martin Havelka´s performance in the role of sadistic dentist Orin and also in several other equally crazy roles. Martin Havelka matures like wine!
During the break, I wondered what this play reminded me of. And then it clicked – a long time ago, I read the book Day of the Triffids (I lent it to an acquaintance of mine and he has never given it back). In it, some kind of long-legged kohlrabi multiplied and destroyed mankind. Here, it is a flower, a strange and beautiful one, and so an enterprising person is quickly found that wants to breed it and enable every American household to have one at home. When Seymour hears this, he is frightened and wants to take action but it is too late. This is the strongest moment of the play – a memento for all humanity.
Directed by Petr Gazdík, with stage and costumes by Aleš Valášek. I saw Jakub Uličník and Alena Antalová in the main roles but the alternate stars Lukáš Janota and Markéta Sedláčková are certainly equally as good.
At the end, the thoroughly sweaty Dušan Vitázek, who spoke, sang and smacked his lips for the plant, climbed out of it. It is certain that a genre of perfect entertainment has been created at Brno City Theatre!
A standing ovation could be heard throughout the entire final song with its nicely brisk tempo. People were stamping their feet even on the steps and by the cloakroom. An unusual amount of young people went to see the performance and they enjoyed themselves greatly. The word most frequently heard during the break was “Good!”

A horror parody - and a successful one

Luboš Mareček 25. May 2011 zdroj MF Dnes

A horror parody - and a successful one
The musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors mocks all forms of trashy art in an entertaining way, and the result is a pleasant satire.
The black comedy musical Little Shop of Horrors has returned to the stage of Brno City Theatre after twenty-one years. It has returned to the place where it had its Czechoslovak premiere in 1990. The musical, written by librettist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken, was based on an American low-budget film from 1960. However, since its premiere in 1982, the theatre musical has become famous all over the world.
The deliberately exaggerated story takes place in a forgotten American flower shop with no customers. The helpers of the grumpy and characterless owner Mushnik are naïve Seymour and his secret love Audrey, who is somewhat simple. Seymour brings a strange, unknown plant to life and everybody wants to see it. The flower shop with this strange flower in the shop window starts to prosper. However, the flower requires human blood to live and a crazy downward spiral begins. The bloodthirsty flower, which is able to consume a whole person and sometimes also does, comes out on top…
Witty cheapness
The crazy story about a bizarre flower is actually a skillful parody of all kinds of trashy genres. The schmaltzy love story of the main couple is intertwined with motifs from cheap horrors as well as comedy B-movies. Despite that, the result is not a nonsensical concoction but a good satire. It says that a person can not only be eaten by a carnivorous and invasive plant but also by business, fame, poverty as well as the media machine. Something is very wrong here, Audrey says, and she probably doesn´t only mean the throat of the hungry plant.
The grimacing exaggeration of this comedy will have an effect on spectators because it is acted with such seemingly complete seriousness in Brno. It is accepted that this hammed-up production doesn’t need further exaggeration. This is what director Petr Gazdík understood, as well as the eight participating actors, all of whom act in leading roles. Brno’s production stars a kind of girl’s choir in the form of the trio Ivana Skálová, Svetlana Slováková and Michaela Horká. They sing well together and also spice up this piece with their attractive appearance. Lukáš Janota as the childishly simple Seymour is also excellent, while Markéta Sedláčková plays Audrey, a girl who is easy to manipulate, and whose dreams are both tragicomically funny and touching at the same time. The substance of the two-decade-old dialogues (translation by Ivo. T. Havlů) is softly and unobtrusively intertwined with current issues.
An avalanche of diminutives
Angelina Jolie’s wreaths of wedding flowers are mentioned, as well as Bill Gates and his successful windows on another occasion. Anyway, the simplicity of the content seems to be shown in the avalanche of diminutives which currently can be heard everywhere – it’s a fashion which appears to be culminating right now.
All this as well as solid singing performances make Brno’s production of The Little Shop of Horrors an experience which will suit today’s audiences. The plot is freshened up by the added ‘cameo’ of a masochistic patient (the star of the evening, Dušan Vitázek) as well as by the excellently full arrangement and also the somewhat repetitive use of the revolving stage with Aleš Valášek´s set.
It is true that you may laugh due to the exaggeration of the plot, the characters and also the end result. However, Brno’s production also has another, somewhat hidden, message – the idea of the invasion of not only a vampire flower but also of anything else among us isn’t actually so far removed from reality.

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