Favorite "Little Shop" Cast-members

edited August 2012 in Theater
I feel like this is something we haven't talked about yet. Who are your favorite cast-members from Little Shop productions, local or major?


  • Lee Wilkof is my favorite Seymour; there are a few minor things that leave something to be desired for me, but he just knew what he was doing. I have nothing against Rick or Hunter; Rick Moranis IS Seymour Krelborn to countless people, and he was wonderful, but his Seymour was just too wide-eyed and soft for me. He was just too much of a push-over. And, I quite like Hunter's portrayal; to me, he was even a bit better in some areas than Lee. But, he was just too emotionless. If there was just a bit more heart and soul in his Seymour, he would easily be my favorite.
    A close second is, and I know this won't be popular, Joey Fatone. I have a recording of one of his performances, and, though I haven't listened to the entire show yet (Bad Little Shop fan is bad!), I have listened to most of his tracks, and there is just something with his performance that I love. He doesn't play up the comedy too much, but he plays up the character; his Seymour is more nerdy, geeky, and awkward than most, and it's much more reminiscent of Jonathan Haze' original portrayal, but there's still all the heart and emotion Seymour needs to have. It's just too enjoyable.

    My favorite Audrey II is, hands down, Levi Stubbs. Ron Taylor and Michael-Leon Wooley are great, and every now and then, I look up Maxx Mann's performance on YouTube (who played with a bit more of a psychosis than others that I like and who was coached by Levi on the plant's voice), but Levi was just perfect. He had that perfect cross between smooth, cool, and enticing and just evil. He's completely believable when he says "I'm your genie, I'm your friend, I'm your willing slave", but just as believable when he says "No shit, Sherlock." The casting of Levi Stubbs was one of the few things the film got completely, 100% right.

    With Orin, it's Douglas Sills. Franc Luz, I felt, was just a bit too bland. And I have nothing against Steve Martin (his recording of Dentist is THE recording for me), but he was just too much of a brute. Douglas' portrayal is who Orin should be. He's smart, happy, and good at his job, and shows kindness and friendliness where needed. If he was a complete brute, and he was a complete a-hole, then people wouldn't go to him for their dental work. He's not a good guy, but he is, technically, a good dentist; he gets the job done. Sure, when you leave, you may have one too many root canals and fillings, but he knows what's wrong with you and how to fix it in his own cruel, painful way. And Douglas was able to play exactly that.

    Now I know I'm about to commit high treason here, but for Audrey, I personally prefer Kerry Butler a little bit more than Ellen Greene. Please, put down the pitchforks and I'll tell you why. To me, you can't compare the two. They both just play it too differently for anyone to say one is better than the other. So it all comes down to personal preference.
    I love Ellen Greene. She was able to take the character and turn it into something wonderful that even Howard didn't expect. She is just so endearing in the role, and IS Audrey. Anyone who thinks of Audrey thinks of Ellen Greene. And, to echo's Carrie Fisher's statement about Princess Leia in, I believe, Wishful Drinking, on the very unfortunate day when Ellen dies, you will turn on CNN and see a picture of Audrey. She is, and always will be, Audrey.
    But, what I like about Kerry is that she brought something different; she wasn't a carbon-copy of Ellen's Audrey. The way Ellen plays Audrey as a woman who's been beaten down by life. "Somewhere That's Green" is a fantasy, a dream. But it's only that. It's a pipe-dream. It's something that she longs for, but knows it's something she'll never get. She's just been beaten down to many times to think it's a possibility. But Kerry plays her as girl who still has hope. "Green" isn't just a dream, but it's something that she can still get if she works hard enough.
    I think I like Kerry more just because I grew up on the Disney princesses. I grew up on The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast, and Kerry played it as more as a Disney princess, so I was just able to connect to it more. Plus, her Audrey was just so sweet, kind, and lovable; you just feel like she is the sweetest girl on the planet. The only thing that's lacking is that there isn't as much emotion as there should be in the scene right before Suddenly Seymour, but I can let that slide.
  • Little known fact, Lee Wilkoff auditioned for Orin. Howard asked him to come back and read for Seymour. Another little known fact, Nathan Lane auditioned for Seymour, too. Made it to callbacks...
  • So, if Nathan Lane had gotten Seymour, he would have originated both of my favorite musical roles (the other being Max Bialystock)? Just the idea alone has blown my mind into another dimension! :)
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