Little Shop of Posers

Fresh off his historic Emmy win, Billy Porter went to the Pasadena Playhouse for the opening night of Little Shop of Horrors to support his Pose co-star, Mj Rodriguez.  She made theatrical history as the first transgender actress to play Audrey.  So, for those of you who wondered if trans people could only play trans characters: the answer is no – they can play whatever roles they are suited for (and, obviously, the converse is true).  Aside from some key changes and awkward harmonies, it worked just fine.  BTW, Billy Porter’s voice was used for the opening narration.  And here’s a bit of trivia – Porter was the voice of the plant, Audrey II, in a 2003 touring production of Little Shop which closed just prior to opening on Broadway.

In this production, Amber Riley played the plant.  The innocent little sprout in Act 1 remained throughout – except during feeding when puppeteers swung giant tentacles (I initially wrote giant testicles…. Freudian slip).  George Salazar was a solid Seymour, while Matt Wilkas’ portrayal of Orin’s death scene took on operatic proportions – not that there’s anything wrong with that.  While it was a good, solid, stripped-down and basic production with admirable performances, I didn’t think it was special – aside from the non-traditional casting.  It runs through October 20th, and you can get tix at

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