By Nicole Zibelman

The curtain closed for the last time at University of Maryland’s School of Theatre, Dance, & Performance Studies’ adaptation of “Little Shop of Horrors” with a sold out performance at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center Friday evening.

The science-fiction, horror and comedic musical all-in-one featured a brilliant musical score with songs ranging from Motown to pop to rock.

Musical composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman also composed the music behind Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.”

“Little Shop of Horrors” debuted as a musical adaptation of the film of the same name in 1982 and, according to a release by the School of Theatre, Dance, & Performance Studies, it has remained one of the most successful off-Broadway shows in history ever since.

The play took place on skid row in the early 1960s and revolved around a young man named Seymour Krelborn who acquired a blood-sucking foreign plant-like creature after a solar eclipse. The creature, named Aubrey II, manipulated Seymour and acquired notoriety for itself and for Seymour at the same time.

“All of the actors onstage have really honed their characters and have assimilated themselves,” Alicia Grace, a recent graduate of the School of Theatre, Dance, & Performance Studies, said.   

In the performance, Aubrey II was personified through a mechanical apparatus.  

“I’m really impressed with everything, the set especially,” Kathleen Rosendall, a freshman health science major said.  “It looks really professional.”

The storyline challenged morality with impulse, greed and desire. The suspenseful ending touched upon all of those themes while leaving audience members on the edge of their seats.

The finale garnered thunderous applause from the audience of almost 600.  

“The energy in closing night [was] great,” Denisse Penaflor, a sophomore theatre major said.  “I love watching shows that have great energy.”

This was the final performance out of seven, from Oct. 5 to Oct. 12.

“It means a lot to the department, The Clarice and the school that we have big crowds on every night of the show, especially closing night,” Grace said.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Stephanie S. Cordle/University of Maryland.

Nicole Zibelman is a sophomore multiplatform journalism major and can be reached at

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