‘Little Shop’ Bringing Man-eating

Alien man-eating plants take center stage in Portsmouth Little Theatre’s upcoming production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” a stage musical directed by Eric Armstrong with musical direction by Linda Tieman. The dark comedy tells the quirky story of Seymour Krelborn and his carnivorous plant and features popular songs by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.

“This story is well-known and loved by a lot of people,” Armstrong said. “We’re very excited to be able to produce it in a community theatre setting, where everyone can affordably enjoy the performances up close, and get a chance to see some of our remarkable local talent in an fairly complex production that’s truly entertaining.”

The production features a dozen local performers, with Vincent Scarpinato starring as Seymour and Dani Gillstrap as his leading lady, Audrey. The pair are supported by actors Nicholas Erlenwein, Jacqueline Hines, John Kasper, Mason Parker, Chelsey Phillips, Micah Roberts, Hannah Shope and Clark Tieman.

The huge plant, Audrey II, is voiced by Michael Raies with puppeteering and mechanical performance by Noah Fannin. Radio personality Steve Hayes guest stars as a disc jockey promoting the plant on a local talk show. A crew of volunteers is also helping behind the scenes.

“We’re very lucky to have the support of so many people in producing this show,” Armstrong said. “We have sponsorship by Debbie Gambill Century 21 Empire Realty, Fifth Third Bank and Southern Ohio Medical Center, and help from other area businesses as well.”

The production is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. March 7,8, 14 and 15 and matinee performances at 2 p.m. March 8 and 15 at the theatre, 1117 Lawson St. Advanced tickets are $10 evenings ($12 at door) and $5 matinees ($7 at door). Tickets are available at Hatti Beasley’s and Market Street Cafe.