Little Shop City Center Concerts with Ellen Greene

Hi fellow Ashman fans

Just wanted to chime in—I was at last night's Little Shop of Horrors concert with Ellen Greene reprising her role as Audrey, and everything Brantley wrote about it in the Times is true and THEN some. It was a magical evening. I'm going back tonight as well, and I can't wait to take it all in again.

Also wanted to share some pieces of mine that I worked on with Playbill about Little Shop that went up this week. I think you guys would like them. The first is a brief history of the show's beginnings, with some accompanying never-before-seen images from the Library of Congress' Howard Ashman Papers. There's also some brand new quotes from Alan Menken and our very own Sarah Ashman Gillespie.


The other piece we put out this week is digital versions of the original Off-Broadway Playbill from the Orpheum Theatre. Of particular note to me, since I had never ever seen one of these before, we also have a digital version of the Off-Off-Broadway WPA Theatre Playbill, complete with Alan Menken playing in the pit—and with a different orchestration (there apparently used to be a saxophone in the show!)


As you can imagine, they were both a complete labor of love to work on and prepare in honor of this exciting series of concerts happening this week. Happy to be sharing them here. Hope you enjoy!


  • Waiting for the show to start right now. So so so excited. I'll probably post back after. Can't wait.
  • Sorry I missed you Wednesday. Words fail me (which doesn't happen often). Thanks for posting these links and for being a carrier of the flame. Both are much appreciated.
  • Now that I've had a couple of days to digest, I just wanted to note how amazing the show was. Ellen was, of course, brilliant and I was amazed by Jake Gyllenhal's acting. Having only seen him in Prince of Persia I was a little bit worried - but he was great. The crowd was amazing, I'm not sure I've ever been in an audience that enthusiastic for anything. Magical atmosphere, great performances, fantastic night altogether.

    And I may or may not have teared up at the end.

    Without a doubt worth the trip. :)

    And those articles are so so good.
  • This was such a gorgeous night (Thurs), I'm at a complete loss for words. Ellen was radiant and husterical, while doing a slightly darker and more worldly Audrey (crying with us during the Somewhere That's Green reprise) . Almost everyone in the cast was excellent. What a surprise Jake Gyllenhaal was. It was so moving to see that everyone was there for Ellen, and to see everyone leap up at Howard's name. The show was, by my count, half an hour longer than Little Shop usually is, and without tech. That much cheering.
  • I'm so glad some of this site's people were able to be there. I doubt those of us who were there will ever forget it.
  • edited July 2015
    I was there Wednesday night and was thrilled and moved beyond all measure at this incredible evening! Sarah, I was really glad to read your program notes, and the finale tribute to Howard was so touching.

    For my money, it's the best version of the show I've ever seen (even leaving aside seeing Ellen Greene reprise her role). Eddie Cooper was the best Audrey II since Levi Stubbs, and the band and orchestrations were top-notch. The Urchins were the second-best I've ever seen (after a local production that employed three church girls who were LIVING those roles, I tell you). Jake Gyllenhaal was good, and could definitely have a future in musicals, though I think he'd fit better in something more intimate. His more subdued earnestness didn't really project itself to the back of the house next to Ellen Greene's kabuki-esque Audrey, though he really came through in his solos and their big duet. Another thing, with his big beard and baseball cap, you could hardly see his face. I also found it amusing they dressed him in baggy clothes to hide his hunky physique.

    (I imagine Daniel Radcliffe would have been a great Seymour if Jake G weren't available. After his turn in "How to Succeed" he's proved he's got true musical theater chops & his boyish diffidence is much more Seymour-esque.)

    The only thing that could have made it more special would have been an "encore" performance of "We'll Have Tomorrow" (the cutting of which I still lament). Oh well, can't have everything!

    Also, @loganculwell, thanks for the Playbill coverage and those rare scans! I can totally see Chip Zein and Didi Conn in this show!
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