The USC Dept. of Theatre and Dance will present the hit Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors April 7-14 at Drayton Hall Theatre.
Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with an additional 3 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday, April 8. Admission is $15 for students, $20 for USC faculty/staff, military, and seniors 60+, and $22 for the public. Tickets may be purchased online at sc.universitytickets.com. Drayton Hall Theatre is located at 1214 College St. Little Shop of Horrors contains mature content and is recommended for ages 10+. Parental discretion advised.
Conceived by the powerhouse team of lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken (the creative team behind Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Aladdin), Little Shop of Horrors has been an audience favorite on stage and screen for 40 years. In their tongue-in-cheek sci-fi parody, meek floral assistant Seymour stumbles across a new breed of plant he names "Audrey II" after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Seymour as long as he keeps feeding it BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II's out-of-this-world origins and intent towards global domination!
“…a delightful cross-breed that graft[s] toe-tapping ’60s pop, doo-wop and Motown
onto an affectionate parody of B-movie schlock.” –
The Hollywood Reporter
Department Chair Jim Hunter, who created the show’s scenic design, says the production leans heavily into the musical’s homage to 50s/60s pulp science fiction, with a design concept that evokes the B-movie fun of classics like The Creature From Outer Space and Forbidden Planet. The musical itself was a remake of the 1960 Roger Corman cult comedy of the same name.
“There’s a youthfulness to this show that is effervescent,” says Hunter, “and a campy quality that gives everyone license to just have a lot of fun.”
Director Jessica Francis Fichter says that despite the show’s nostalgic bent, the story of down-and-out Seymour going to extreme lengths to find success in life and love has a timeless appeal.
“The themes in Little Shop are still very timely,” Fichter says. “It talks about capitalism and its effect on American culture, which I think is still very relevant, while also dealing with more personal issues. What is home, and what does it mean to love someone who isn’t the person you’re expected to love?”
Associate Director Abigail McNeely, a 2017 USC theatre alum, agrees. “One of the things that I've always really loved about the show is the idea that what makes us happy isn't always what we think it will be.”
Fichter and McNeely, Executive Director and Marketing/Production Manager, respectively, at Columbia’s Trustus Theatre, are part of a cadre of guest artists who have come aboard to help bring the Little Shop world to thrilling life. The team also includes Kim Ball (choreographer), a Florida-based professional dance artist and teacher; Columbia-based musician and teacher Ayush Joshi (music director); and professional sound designer and engineer Kate Wecker (sound mixer).
“We’re particularly pleased that we’ve been able to bring in such a deep bench of experts for this production,” Hunter says. “In addition to working alongside the experienced artists in our faculty, our students are getting access to professionals in the industry and building bridges to future careers.”
Rounding out the show’s creative team are instructor John Kiselica (sound design) and MFA graduate students Isaiah Jensen (lighting design) and Lindsay Wilkinson (costume design). The show’s talented cast of students includes John Ballard, Zoe Chan, Eliza Dojan, Cameron Eubanks, Koby Hall, Konrad Knaak, Myracle Lawrence, Phillip Parker, Nicole Perez, Mylea Pressley, Marie Shenk, Carly Siegel, Rachel Vanek, and Michael Williamson.
“It’s such a timeless and fun show,” says McNeely, who counts it as a lifetime favorite that she says must be seen in its live incarnation. “There’s something so thrilling about being together in a space where the actors are performing it right in front of you.”
“This amazing group of people are bringing a completely different spin to the story that I think the community is going to be really excited to see.”
For more information on Little Shop of Horrors or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by
phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Little Shop of Horrors” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com .