BWW Exclusive: LITTLE SHOP's Original Urchins Discuss Upcoming Reunion Concert at 54 Below
This upcoming Monday, June 27th, an exciting concert will be held at 54 Below...an "unprecedented evening" that will bring original LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS performers together, spanning from the original production to the more-recent Broadway revival.
Three of the performers: Jennifer Leigh Warren (Original "Crystal"), Nikki Rene (Off-Bway "Chiffon"), and Sheila Kay Davis (Original "Ronnette") spoke with BroadwayWorld about their experiences, their favorite memories from the production, and what they are most looking forward to for Monday night's concert.
On her favorite memory, Sheila Davis ("Ronnette") said, "My favorite memory of 'Little Shop of Horrors' was the incredible energy of the original showcase at the WPA Theatre in Chelsea. The theatre was in a rickety building and you took a rickety elevator to get to to it. We were paid two subway tokens per show. We did a midnight show!!! Alan Menken played the show then, we rocked it!!!....and then fled into the night at 2:00am. The 80's in NYC!"
She is looking forward to being a part of the show's music again on Monday night. "I am looking forward to singing the part of Ronette again," she said, "using the original nuances and beats that were established under the direction of Howard Ashman."
Nikki Rene had a slightly different experience, having understudied the urchins for over two years. "I was blessed to have worked with a few different casts," she said.
Like Davis, she is looking forward to throwing herself into the show on Monday night. "I can't wait to see everyone again," she said. "I've been out of the business for a long time raising my 3 daughters and I do miss the theatre world and the comradery of fellow performers. I also look forward to singing this material again. It has never left my brain. I'm not sure how I can forget what I did yesterday but I remembered all the lyrics of most of the songs! I think it's called 'Excellent Score and script'!"
Jennifer Leigh Warren cited "so many" favorite memories from the production. She listed, "James Taylor asking me for my autograph, the limousines lining up outside the funky WPA, Fyvish Finkel out in front of the Theater every show with a huge smile, the great blend we girls had (Leilani Jones and Sheila Kay Davis), Howard Ashman's beautiful eyes and how he could just look into your soul, working with Alan Menken and Robert Billig on vocal arrangements, The first time the plant dropped into the audience...it goes on and on."
As for what Warren is most looking forward to about Monday, she said, "Seeing those people that shared this great experience with me after all these years, honoring Howard and Alan and hearing (and singing) that music again."
the concert is described as:
"Little Shop of Horrors, the stage and screen musical that has circled the globe for over 30 years, consuming audiences with chills, thrills and laughter, arrives at last at Feinstein's/54Below. One unprecedented evening will bring together performers from the original production through the Broadway revival. Stories will be told, reminiscences will be shared, and songs will be sung, for a dazzling, yet revealing glimpse at the magic behind the magic.
Conceived by Robby Merkin (orchestrator of the original production and Grammy-nominated cast album; music director & arranger of the Oscar nominated film) and Stephen Nachamie (She Loves Me) - who started his career as a 14 year old Production Assistant on the first run - our event will focus on those who brought the musical tale of love, fate, and a man-eating plant to life.
From "Somewhere That's Green" to "Suddenly Seymour," revel once again in the words of Golden Globe, Grammy, and Oscar winner Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Smile) and music of Tony, Grammy, and Oscar winner Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Newsies, Sister Act) Grab your tickets, cry, "Feed me!," and prepare for the excitement of what promises to be a formidable and unforgettable evening."