SPPAC and Dramatics Club Bedazzled by Little Shop of Horrors


Jay Johnson, Staff Writer

On January 6th, the Saint Peter’s Prep Performing Arts Club, also known as SPPAC, along with the Prep Dramatics Club, took a trip across the Hudson to see the 2019 off-Broadway revival of the musical Little Shop of Horrors.

Throughout the duration of the show, the cast and the crew were repeatedly met with thunderous applause, especially from the performers of Prep Dramatics’ own rendition of the same play, which is premiering in March. When asked for comment, Andrew Fonticoba ’24, who has been cast as the protagonist Seymour in the spring musical, stated, “I’m excited…I think I have a long way to go, but I think I’m gonna get it done.” Another cast member also gave their opinion: “I think [the show] is cool…I’m excited!”

The evening was unlike previous SPPAC events, which usually commence with a dinner in the faculty dining room. Instead, SPPAC and Dramatics Club members boarded a bus headed toward New York at 4:30 p.m. to dine at Joe’s Pizza on 1435 Broadway. After a rather short bus ride across the Holland Tunnel, SPPAC disembarked the bus and waited outside as Joe’s Pizza staff members helped prepare a private section of the restaurant. After being allowed in, SPPAC members were escorted to the top of the restaurant, where multiple private tables and catered services were awaiting. Iced lemon tea, Caesar salads, and many pies were served in a buffet-style dinner; SPPAC members dined and conversed with joy. As one SPPAC member stated, “The restaurant was really cool…good [pizza] pies, private tables…it was amazing.”

After spending nearly two hours unwinding at Joe’s Pizza, the SPPAC and Dramatics members left the restaurant and embarked on their 15-minute journey to Westside Theatre. During their stroll, SPPAC members were able to observe both the astounding sights of New York’s Theater District and the intriguing occurrences of everyday New York life. “We saw a police horse waiting at a red light…I think that’s pretty awesome,” noted an observer.

After arriving at their destination, SPPAC and Dramatics members were given their tickets by Fr. Mullin and admitted into the theater. The small theater in Hell’s Kitchen, while not opulent, was very warm. The theater, unlike previous SPPAC venues like the Metropolitan Opera or Carnegie Hall, held a capacity of two hundred and sixty-two, giving the overall production a more relaxed and intimate feel. The lights dimmed and the show began shortly after the doors to the theater were closed at 8:30 p.m.

The show, nearly two hours in duration, closely followed the storyline of the 1987 movie starring Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene: Seymour, a nerdy florist working for a man named Mr. Mushnik at an unsuccessful plant shop on Skid Row, the rough downtown of an impoverished small town, is infatuated with Audrey, his coworker and close friend who also shares similar feelings of affection towards him. One day, Seymour finds and purchases a mysterious plant and brings it back to the shop in an attempt to attract customers. Despite his attempts to water and care for it, the plant seems to have died days after Seymour purchased it. As Seymour is about to discard the plant, he accidentally pricks his finger, inadvertently feeding the plant with his blood. This drop of blood rejuvenates the plant, which craves more. It is at this very moment that Seymour has to balance the desires of his blood-craving plant with that both of the law and with his adoration for Audrey.

Almost the entire plot of the show closely resembles that of the 1987 movie, but it has one notable exception. At the end of the 1987 film, the story comes to a happy and peaceful conclusion that was alluded to by Audrey earlier in the film. In this off-Broadway rendition, however, the ending contains a much darker twist that captivates the audience and surprises those who have watched and continue to adore Moranis’ film.

The show, which stars Tony-award-winning performers Matt Doyle and Lena Hall as Seymour and Audrey, respectively, was powerful and stunning; the SPPAC and Dramatics Club members were simply bedazzled. “Every play I see for the rest of my life is going to be compared to this [show],” praised one observer. “I thought that show was fantastic,” lauded another member.