Meadow Brook Theatre presents ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Originally set to open in 2020, Meadow Brook Theatre finally brought “Little Shop of Horrors” to their stage as they opened their 56th season. Coincidentally, this year marks the 40th year of the show’s existence, so maybe the wait wasn’t so bad after all!

“Little Shop of Horrors” shares a chilling story through a bright and funky lens with doo-wop, rock and early Motown tracks to match. The show takes place in Skid Row, where we follow the lovingly clumsy Seymour Crenshaw (Tim Dolan) — a poor, orphaned Skid Row native with a knack for botany.

After a total eclipse of the sun, Seymour finds himself in the possession of a very strange and interesting plant who he names Audrey II (Tamara Della Anderson and Tyler Bolda), after his work crush. While this plant brings Seymour great prosperity, she is high-maintenance and comes at a greater cost than he ever imagined.

From open-to-close, the onstage storytelling was absolutely incredible. “Little Shop of Horrors” is an homage to comically vampy thrillers of the 80s, so it’d be easy to create caricatures instead of characters, but the cast and direction made this into a well-crafted story rather than a cartoon (while, of course, maintaining a well-suited level of camp.)

“I really wanted to keep [the show] a little more grounded, a little more down to Earth, a little more realistic and let the plant be the thing that’s colorful and different,” Meadow Brook’s Artistic Director Travis W. Walter said.

While the production itself is phenomenal, the smoke and mirrors (and plants) don’t take away from the quality of the story at hand. This is especially impressive given the delay in production due to the ongoing pandemic. 

“We may not all be stuck in a rut in Skid Row, but everyone has aspirations and desires that are just out of reach,” Walter said. “These characters give us something to root for, and as campy and funny as the show might be, at its center it has an abundance of heart.”

Ticket prices range from $39 to $46 and are available by calling the Meadow Brook Theatre box office at (248) 377-3300 or via TicketMaster link on their website. Student prices are available at the box office if ID is provided.