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LSH-0237W-BwayDirect-PremiumFeature-1200x450 (3)

Corbin Bleu & Constance Wu on Stepping Into the Iconic Little Shop of Horrors

There will be a new Seymour and Audrey down on Skid Row when Corbin Bleu and Constance Wu join the cast of Little Shop of Horrors Off-Broadway on September 26. Written by the award-winning songwriting team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the 1982 musical follows Seymour and Audrey — two employees at Mr. Mushnik’s flower shop — and a larger-than-life, man-eating Venus flytrap. The horror-comedy musical became a hit after it made its Off-Broadway premiere 40 years ago at the Orpheum Theatre, and now it has returned to its Off-Broadway roots with this current award-winning revival, which opened at the Westside Theatre on October 17, 2019.

In addition to starring in the Disney television-musical franchise High School Musical, Bleu is no stranger to the stage, performing on Broadway in musicals such as In the Heights, Holiday Inn, and the 2019 revival of Kiss Me, Kate. Wu, who recently performed onstage in 2:22 at Los Angeles’s Center Theatre Group, is most well-known to audiences through her beloved screen work, including the TV series Fresh Off the Boat and the films Hustlers and Crazy Rich Asians — a performance that earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Now the duo will be Little Shop’s newest leads, lending their talents to fan-favorite songs such as “Somewhere That’s Green” and “Suddenly Seymour.” Broadway Direct sat down with Bleu and Wu to hear about their preparations for joining the show.

How familiar were you with Little Shop of Horrors before you got the roles?

Corbin Bleu: I’ve been a fan of Little Shop since childhood! It’s such a perfect musical. My first introduction was the iconic film — I watched it on repeat — then I saw a couple of live productions of it. The album has always been in constant rotation for me. This is definitely a dream-fulfilling moment.

Constance Wu: I first saw a local community-theater production of Little Shop of Horrors when I was a kid in Richmond, Virginia, and it’s been my No. 1 favorite musical ever since.

What do you love most about your characters, Seymour and Audrey? How do you relate to them, if at all?

CB: Seymour is a classic outcast who is thrust into heroism, but best of all, he follows a dark and bloody path on that journey. I can’t wait to play in the character work of Seymour. We have more differences than similarities, which for me is what makes the role so fun. Ultimately, I can relate to his gentle soul paired with an inner ferociousness that quietly exists and surfaces when the time comes.

CW: I love Audrey’s songs. The music in this show is so wonderful. I relate to her in that we both had very humble beginnings and we’ve both had to be scrappy to survive. We both find beauty in the simple things in life, and I’ve probably also dated a jerk or two before. [Laughs.] I just remembered that I actually dated a dentist for, like, six months — that was a long time ago.

Which song are you most looking forward to singing?

CB: “Skid Row.” What a stage-setter! My favorite song in the show, followed very closely by “Feed Me.”

CW: “Suddenly Seymour,” and the reprise of “Somewhere That’s Green.”

What excites you about working with each other as co-leads?

CB: We’ve never worked together before, but we’ve met, and the mutual excitement is prevalent! I’m really looking forward to us playing together and finding our Seymour and Audrey dynamic.

CW: Singing and performing on stage with him!

Constance, you finished your run of 2:22 at CTG at the end of last year. What are the challenges and rewards of acting for the stage versus screen?

CW: I love theater because it is live and it is alive. There’s a constant living exchange between the audience and performers that changes with every show depending on so many factors: the audience, current events of the day, even the weather. Did we all brave a snowstorm to get there? Also, because I grew up doing community theater and studied it in college, there’s a shorthand and familiarity with theater people that always feels like home. I find the discipline and integrity of theater actors to be pretty consistent across the board, and I love that. With screen-acting jobs, it’s a bit more uneven, which can certainly present a challenge. I prefer theater.

Speaking of feeling like home, Corbin, you have made a home both onstage and onscreen. What keeps you returning to live musical theater?

CB: My love for live theater is in my bones! I need theater in my life — as a craft, an expression, a happy place, a community, a purpose. It’s magical. Enough said!

Learn More About Little Shop of Horrors