Suddenly Seymour is standing beside me...and he's being played by Looking's Jonathan Groff. That's right, Groff will star as the bespectacled horticulture enthusiast in a new Off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors, alongside Tammy Blanchard as Audrey and Christian Borle as the evil dentist.
In an interview with The New York Times, Groff explained why he's so eager to be part of the new incarnation the beloved musical. "It's a scary, funny, genius show, and I'm excited to celebrate it...And to do it in that small space -- it seems like an illegal amount of fun."
Groff, who is perhaps most famous for his role as Kristoff in Frozen, has an impressive roster of Broadway credits: he was in the original cast of Spring Awakening and played King George in Hamilton, both of which were Tony-nominated performances.
But is Groff the right choice for Seymour, the nerdy flower-store clerk who even his love interest Audrey doesn't think is anything special to look at (in "Somewhere That's Green," she sings: "Still, that Seymour's a cutie / Well, if not, he's got inner beauty")? Pop culture enthusiast and musical theater expert Ryan Streit thinks not. "Seymour is like Hamlet for nerds and to give that role to a yet another beefcake (Jonathan Groff, Jake Gyllenhaal and Andrew Keenan Bolger) is rewriting the iconic role in the most boring way so the audience gets to root for a hunk in glasses instead of a true dweebly underdog," Streit tells Out. "But Tammy Blanchard is going to be EXCELLENT."
Little Shop of Horrors starts previews September 17 at the Westside Theater.