Mary Evan Giles plays the role of Audrey in “Little Shop of Horrors.” Photo by Will Crooks.

Beware! The cult classic “Little Shop of Horrors” brings the murderous plant Audrey II to life in Greenville — and it demands blood.

The comedy rock musical opens Centre Stage’s 2019-20 season with doo-wop and rock hits like “Git It,” “Somewhere That’s Green,” and “Suddenly Seymour.”

The story follows the quirky florist’s assistant named Seymour who crushes on co-worker Audrey. “He stumbles across an exotic and strange plant that he names Audrey II in hopes of winning the affection of Audrey,” actor Javy Pagan says.

Playing the role of Audrey II, Pagan says his villainous character accomplishes its mission despite who stands in the way. “Audrey II is a talking, moving, very-much-alive plant that is trying to take over the world,” he says. “Seymour just happens to be the tool that Audrey II is using to execute their world domination.”

Written by Alan Menken, the music of “Little Shop of Horrors” shows an almost endearing side of Audrey II. “People know that Audrey II is not the nicest, but they can’t help but fall in love with Audrey II because of Alan Menken’s music,” Pagan says.

Audiences will see Audrey II like never before. “We are taking it in a very fun, very different, very new direction, and we’re excited for our audience to see that,” he says.

Did you know?

Composer Alan Menken’s notable works include Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Aladdin,” and Broadway musicals “Sister Act” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Mary Evan Giles, who plays the role of Audrey, says adding uniqueness to a popular show like “Little Shop of Horrors” can prove difficult. “I think the way that Centre Stage is taking it on is going to do just that — give the audience a ‘Little Shop’ that they’ve never seen before,” she says.

Describing her character as the girl next door, Giles says Audrey is “trashy but misunderstood.” “She’s been dealt the short end of the stick most of her life so she doesn’t think that she’s worth everything that other people see in her,” she says.

For Giles, playing Audrey allows her to sing music she grew up listening to. “So I’m really trying to do her justice in a way that makes women proud to be who they are — even if they are misunderstood,” she says. 

Giles and Pagan describe the show as fun, bizarre, and relevant. “It’s two hours of absurdity, but absurdity that makes sense and is relatable and fun — fun absurdity,” Giles says.

‘Little Shop of Horrors’

When: Sept. 19-Oct. 6
Where: Centre Stage, 501 River St., Greenville
Tickets: $25-$35

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