[NEohioPAL] Review of "LIttle Shop of Horrors" at Cleveland Play House

Bob Abelman via NEohioPAL neohiopal at lists.neohiopal.org
Sun Jan 17 04:16:45 PST 2016

Cleveland Play House delivers a delightful ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ 

Bob Abelman

Cleveland Jewish News, The News Herald, The Morning Journal

Member, International Association of Theatre Critics

Although it is not unusual for the Cleveland Play House to stage musicals, most are biographical and serve to tell the life story of legendary singers like Mahalia Jackson, Woody Guthrie, and five guys named Moe.  

It is the exception when the CPH brain trust chooses a mainstream musical.  It is rarer still when they color outside the lines and stage something as outrageously campy and quirky as Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s dark musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors.”  

The show is sown from the seeds of Roger Corman’s low-budget, non-musical 1960 movie about a meek Skid Row flower shop clerk named Seymour who discovers a mysterious, man-eating plant that transforms his life in exchange for the lives of his acquaintances.  

The musical played Off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, was made into a star-studded feature film in 1986, and had a short-lived Broadway stint in 2003.

The thing is, the CPH doesn’t really resort to “campy” and it doesn’t settle for “quirky,” not with a Tony Award on its mantel and the words “stimulate as well as entertain” in its mission statement.

And so Amanda Dehnert was invited back to Cleveland to direct, choreograph and musical direct “Little Shop of Horrors.” 

For more of this review, go to www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/.  

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