Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Opéra Comique

Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Opéra Comique

La Petite Boutique des Horreurs!

In sync with the off-Broadway revival currently playing in New York until 2024 comes to the Opéra Comique the first legitimate Paris revival of the 1986 French adaptation of The Little Shop of Horrors by the late Alain Marcel, which first opened at the Théâtre Dejazet in June and then transferred to the Théâtre la Porte St-Martin. A previous French revival, also at the Dejazet in 2001, starring Hervé Lewandowski as Seymour and Franck Vincent as the plant, was cut short because the rights didn't allow for the vegetal monster to be played by a human! Of course, this has now changed. As in the excellent Maria Aberg production at Regent's Park Open Air in 2018, the plant appeared in the human form of American drag queen Vicky Vox! In this new production, the plant made bigger and sensibly more frightening, is a giant puppet manipulated by Daniel Njo Lobé whose powerful voice gives the vegetal its identity. Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Opéra Comique

Marc Mauillon (remarkably, his first musical) makes for a slightly older, but nonetheless believable, Seymour, and Judith Fa is vocally impressive as Audrey, especially in "Somewhere That's Green" ("Au coeur du vert" in French), which foreshadows another Alan Menken I-want song: "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid, the movie that made Menken the undisputed king of Disney film composers for almost two decades. Lionel Peintre is a convincing Mr. Mushnik, and Damien Bigourdan provides good comic relief with his high camp portrayal of the sadistic dentist; his 60s hairdo is a direct reference to Grease, whose musical style Menken decided to adopt, giving up on the original Brechtian-Weil option he initially planned.

Laura Nanou, Sofia Mountassir, and Anissa Brahmi are excellent as the Motown-style Greek chorus commenting on the story. They are helped by the highly original choreography by Rémi Boissy. In fact, it is one of the danciest Little Shop of Horrors ever, the orignal having very little, if no, dancing at all.

The lighting by Pascal Laajili is a little too dark at times, but the set by Audrey Vuong and costumes by Vanesa Sannino are quite efficient. Of course, Audrey 2 is the star of the evening, thanks to the work of puppeteer Carole Allemand. Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Opéra Comique

All in all, a highly satisfying revival of a classic that has aged very well and now can be seen as a metaphor of nature revenging itself against man and his abuse. Musically, the new arrangements of Arthur Lavandier do justice to Menken's score, and the musical direction of Maxime Pascal, as well as the direction of Valérie Lesort and Cristian Hecq, gives the audience a fresh vision to the work.

Hoping this production, a deserved tribute to the talent of the late French adaptor Alain Marcel, who also adapted Kiss Me Kate in 1992 and La Cage aux Folles 1999, will have a revival after its short run at the Opéra Comique.



LES PIGEONS  is Now Playing at Théâtre des Nouveautés Photo
Serge et Bernard, acteurs de second plan, la soixantaine, habitués aux troisièmes rôles, sont amis depuis longtemps . Ils ont débuté ensemble il y a 40 ans, mais n’en restent pas moins rivaux.

HOW TO BECOME A PARISIAN IN ONE HOUR is Now Playing at Théâtre des Nouveaut&e Photo
It's the only lesson you'll ever need! No, you will not learn French, but you'll learn how to behave 'like a Parisian', as well as the major differences between French people and Anglo-Saxons.

Cyber Group Studios Expands Leadership Team Photo
Cyber Group Studios, a leading producer and distributor of animated series - with offices in France, the United States, Italy, Singapore, and England - is again adding to its leadership team and strategically positioning the company for further growth in 2023 and beyond. 

Review: AL CAPONE at Folies Bergère Photo
Just when the Broadway flop Bonnie and Clyde is about to come back to the West End for the 2nd time, trying to build a popular hit off a cult following, a new musical about another famous criminal, Al Capone, one of the most infamous personalities from America's prohibition era, arrives in Paris.


From This Author - Patrick Honoré

Patrick Honoré runs the magazine Broadwayguy.com and has been a musical theater critic for 15 years, sarting as the French Musical Corespondant for the paper edition of Musical Stages in Lon... (read more about this author)


Review: AL CAPONE at Folies BergèreReview: AL CAPONE at Folies Bergère
March 3, 2023

Just when the Broadway flop Bonnie and Clyde is about to come back to the West End for the 2nd time, trying to build a popular hit off a cult following, a new musical about another famous criminal, Al Capone, one of the most infamous personalities from America's prohibition era, arrives in Paris.

Review: COQUELICOT at Théatre de la ContrescarpeReview: COQUELICOT at Théatre de la Contrescarpe
February 26, 2023

French actress, singer, and dancer, Prisca Demarez made fruitful use of her time in lockdown during the initial stages of Covid to create an autobiographical show, part standup routine and part solo concert, called Coquelicot (French for poppy flower), which debuted earlier this month at the Théatre de la Contrescarpe in the Latin Quarter of Paris.

Review: CHÂTELET MUSICAL CLUB at ChâteletReview: CHÂTELET MUSICAL CLUB at Châtelet
February 24, 2023

For the 2nd year, the Châtelet Musical Club is growing, inviting artists from different countries and backgrounds to share their love and talent for musical theater in the intimate grand foyer of the Théâtre du Châtelet, which, under the helm of Jean-Luc Choplin, has for the past decade been the new temple of musical theater, introducing the French to the genius of Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein (among others) and serving as the home for the first ever tryout in Paris with An American in Paris in 2014.

Review: A TRIBUTE TO PASEK & PAUL at Péniche Le MarcounetReview: A TRIBUTE TO PASEK & PAUL at Péniche Le Marcounet
February 2, 2023

AMT Live presents a tribute to the young Broadway composers Pasek and Paul as part of their ongoing Broadway Chez Nous series.

Review: GENE KELLY SUR LA 42ÈME RUE at Radio De La MusiqueReview: GENE KELLY SUR LA 42ÈME RUE at Radio De La Musique
January 14, 2023

The fifth edition of '42ème rue fait son show !' celebrates one of Paris's favorite Americans.