If you’re prone to searching musicals for life lessons, the takeaway in Little Shop of Horrors is that you can find fame and fortune as a florist — if you’re willing to feed human flesh to a ravenous Venus flytrap.
Seymour (the florist) and Audrey II (the extraterrestrial plant he thinks will solve all his problems) have a mutually exploitative arrangment — Seymour uses Audrey II as his ticket out of his sketchy neighborhood and into a better life, and the man-eating space plant uses him for dinner.
Traditionally done as comic camp, Little Shop of Horrors is given a more ominous tinge at Boxcar Theatre. Using Boxcar’s own rather sketchy neighborhood, the opening number is staged on the street outside the theater. (Don’t worry, they do let you inside eventually.) The production features live and pre-recorded video, an actor riding in on a motorcycle, and flesh-eating puppets. Designed by Thomas John and Greg Frisbee (who previously collaborated with the brilliant found object puppet theater Lunatique Fantastique), the Audrey II puppets will display her gnawed-on victims in all their glory.
Through June 26. Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma Street. Tickets are $20-50 at boxcartheatre.org.