Feed me, Seymour: ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ comes to Middletown stage

Middletown Lyric Theatre will continue its 2022 season with a local production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” telling the story of Seymour Krelborn’s plant that is always hungry.

“We’re excited, because this show is showcasing a lot of talent, that might not be otherwise seen in some of the other productions we do. We’re really pulling out a lot of the stops in creating a great atmosphere with set and lighting, and costumes,” said Charley Shafor, managing artistic director at Middletown Lyric Theatre.

There will be four performances of the show over two consecutive weekends.

In “Little Shop of Horrors,” a nerdy floral assistant named Seymour Krelborn pines after his co-worker, Audrey, and during a total eclipse, he stumbles upon a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II.”

“This has always been seen as one of these big, little shows. I’d like audiences to know, we can produce a quality, large-scale production that audiences will embrace and enjoy,” Shafor said. “You don’t want to miss it, because it’s just a good time.”

The music is catchy and there a bigger-than-life characters, he said.

As the plot unfolds, the growing plant, an R&B singing carnivore, promises continued success for the previously struggling store as long as Krelborn keeps feeding it. MLT’s version of this traditional favorite contains new musical arrangements and a fresh twist on the story.

MLT’s cast brings a lot of energy mixed with strong vocal talent. The cast is comprised of Tommy Sanders (plays Seymour,) Zoe Zoller (Audrey,) Nicki McGlossen (Audrey II,) John Dorney (Mushnik,) T.J. Montgomery (Orin,) Shana Fishbein (Chiffon,) Alicia Lacey (Crystal,) and Cedric Reeder-McClure (Ronette.) The show is directed by Josiah Miller with musical direction and choreography by Abbie Miller and lighting by Edwin Toy. “We had a great response to auditions, and we have some excellent, young talent involved, so I think that was a primary reason we wanted to do the show. Plus, we all really enjoy the show itself, which should not be confused with the movie,” said Shafor.

The movie, which is what everyone is more familiar with, is not the stage play, he said. While both are musicals, the staging and characters are slightly different.

“The stage show holds up on it’s own. It has enough fun, and the music is the same, if not, very similar,” said Shafor.

This is MLT’s 44th season. Founded in 1978, the mission of Middletown Lyric Theatre is to inspire, nurture, challenge, educate and empower audiences while continuing a longstanding tradition of producing affordable and accessible community theater productions. The organization will turn 45 next year.

How to go

What: “Little Shop of Horrors”

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Aug. 26 and 3 p.m. Aug. 27.

Where: Middletown Lyric Theatre is located at 1530 Central Ave., Middletown

Cost: $20, all seats. Advance purchase recommended.

More info: middletownlyric.org or at (513) 425-7140. The show is sponsored by Nancy and Tim Griffith.

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