Heritage Theatre Festival to Wrap Up Memorable Season With 'Little Shop of Horrors'

July 16, 2009 — Heritage Theatre Festival will end its 2009 season with one of the most unconventional musical love stories ever to jump off the streets of Skid Row.

"Little Shop of Horrors," directed by longtime Heritage favorite Geno Carr, opens July 23 in the Culbreth Theatre. It's the tale of lovesick Seymour, who sees a man-eating plant from outer space as just the ticket to the fame and fortune that might win him the heart of his longtime crush, Audrey. What could go wrong?

Throw in a sadistic biker dentist and a rocking score inspired by early '60s pop, Motown and doo-wop and you have a musical comedy of hilarious proportions.

"Little Shop of Horrors" will run from July 23-25; July 27 and 30; Aug. 4 and August 7-8. Tickets are $27 for adults, $23 for seniors (60-plus) and U.Va. faculty & staff and $15 for students. Tickets are available at the Heritage Box Office, online at www.uvahtf.org or by calling 434-924-3376.

"I absolutely love this show," Carr said. "It's one of those that people just fall in love with. You have such wonderful characters, and then of course you have the big draw, which is this huge plant. Everyone loves to see how you do the plant."

The plant for this production will look familiar to anyone who saw the show during its recent Broadway run. "This was built by the puppeteers who worked on that production," Carr said. "It's pretty darned close to the Broadway version. They are beautiful puppets and people are going to amazed at the way this plant comes to life onstage."

Another big draw, Carr said, is the music, provided by the legendary writing team of Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman.

"What is so great about this score is it is such an eclectic blend of music," he said. "There is this sort of Motown influence, the stylistic period including the classic girl groups. But what is really amazing about it is how the writers use the music to help tell the story and build the characters as well."

The Heritage Theatre Festival season continues at the Helms Theatre on July 21 with the Texas laughs of "Red, White & Tuna." "On Golden Pond" continues July 17-18, July 29 and Aug. 1, 3 and 6. "Moonlight and Magnolias" continues its run at the Culbreth Theatre through Aug. 5.

Reduced season subscription packages are on sale for the remaining four shows. Prices are $76 for adults, $64 for seniors (60-plus) and U.Va. faculty & staff and $48 for students. Reduced subscriptions are available at the Heritage Box Office.