First Rehearsal of Little Shop off-Broadway
By Sarah Ashman Gillespie — Aug. 13, 2019
One of the things I get to do, as Howard Ashman’s sister, is represent him at “first rehearsal.” It marks the beginning of the rehearsal period – when the conceptual stuff starts to become reality. It is the first time everyone gets in one room, sees the set designs and says hello. It marks the beginning of the rehearsal period.
First rehearsal is like a really good first date with someone you’ve had a crush on for years
Everyone is happy and excited to start after so much planning and anticipation. Bagels (and cupcakes) are served, coffee is drunk and speeches are made.
This Monday, I attended first rehearsal for the new off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors. I’ve been to several first rehearsals over the past few years, but today’s was truly different. For one thing, a “rehearsal plant” was in attendance – just so we all remembered who was really running this show.
As always, there was excitement in the room -- but there was also a sense of purpose and a sense of play. This is a cast and creative team that have paid their off-Broadway dues and moved on to brighter, bigger lights. Yet, they were all here, ready to start rehearsal for an off-Broadway run of Little Shop. Because they all had stories of wanting to play these roles forever - of the first time they encountered the show – often in high school, sometimes at the movies. And with one or two exceptions (myself for one) they were too young to have seen Little Shop during its original run at the Orpheum Theater on New York’s Lower East Side.
This is such an impressive group of talented people. To see them starting out, getting ready to bring Little Shop back to its…roots… in an intimate, touchable, relatable theater production, is truly a dream come true.
Previews begin mid-September. Opening is in mid-October. I’ve never looked so forward to the fall.
More soon, promise.