‘Little Shop of Horrors’ comes to Temecula with Broadway connections

TEMECULA – Temecula’s Fine Arts Network (FAN) presents “Little Shop of Horrors,” one of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows and one of the funniest musicals of all time.

It’s an affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies which has become a household name, thanks to a highly successful film version. The musical was written by the Academy Award winning team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who redefined the animated musical film with Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.”

This team’s magic made “Little Shop of Horrors” charming, tuneful and absolutely hilarious, with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. The rock and roll, doo-wop sound comes with its own sassy girl group of narrators.

FAN’s producer for the show is Shezwae Powell who played Ronette in the original London production of “Little Shop of Horrors” with the iconic Ellen Greene. Shezwae is looking forward to revisiting one of her favorite show business experiences.

Shezwae Powell is a show business veteran with five Broadway shows and 13 shows on London’s West End to her credit. She produced FAN’s fall production of “Pippin.”

“During the auditions for ‘Pippin,’ we were getting down to the last day and hadn’t found the right person to play Pippin’s love interest. Then this gorgeous lady, Shaye Leeper, walks in who just happens to be the wife of FAN’s marketing director. She started singing and just blew us away. We had found the right person. I knew we had ‘Little Shop’ coming up and thought she’d be perfect to play Audrey. So I’m sitting at dinner with her family talking about the future and in the middle of the conversation I discover Shaye is the daughter of an old friend – Jeff Fenholt. Jeff and I were in the original Broadway production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’ Jeff played Jesus and had the most amazing voice. I used to sit in the wings every night and watch him sing ‘Gethsemane.’ It moved me every single time. Jeff went on to become the lead singer with Black Sabbath. The last time I saw Shaye she was a toddler so there was no way I could have imagined that our paths would cross again in Temecula but now it makes sense where she got that voice. This show never fails to entertain and audiences will fall in love with Shaye and Brandon Gonzales who plays Seymour,” said Powell.

“Little Shop of Horrors” opens at Old Town Temecula Community Theater on March 21 and runs for three weekends until

April 6.

For tickets, call (866) 653-8696 or log onto fantheater.com.

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