Little Shop Of Horrors premieres April 20 at Phoenix Center

Little Shop Of Horrors is set to premiere on April 20 at the Phoenix Center at Father Duenas Memorial School in Chalan Pago-Ordot. Photo by PNC's Althea Engman

Gifted And Talented Education, primarily known as GATE, Theater invites the community to experience and witness one of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows, Little Shop Of Horrors, which is making its way to the Phoenix Center at Father Duenas Memorial School in Chalan Pago-Ordot on April 20.

For over 30 years this Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical created by Howard Ashman and Alan Menke, the writers of the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Pocahontas, surrounds Seymour Krelborn, a floral assistant who stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II”.

This new breed is described to be a foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore that promises unending fame and fortune to Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it blood. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out of this world origins and intent towards global domination.

The musical will make its long-awaited local debut with seven performances April 20-23 at the FDMS Pheonix Center.

Ernest Ochoco, the director of the musical, who’s also the head of the Visual Performing Arts Division at the Guam Department of Education, directs a cast which includes many local talents from various age groups.

He said, “I’ve always liked this musical because it has underdog characters.”

Ochoco said that it relates to the situation with this musical as well because the musical itself has that underdog label due to its three-year trek to get back to where it was before the pandemic shutdown.

This comes as VPA, formerly known as GATE, celebrates 30 years.

“This program has been very very successful in many many ways due to the teacher that has been a part of it and all the community support,” said Ochoco. “So, we have people who have become lawyers, people who have become doctors from this program. We’ve had people who’ve gotten into the film industry in Hollywood, we’ve also had people who have gone to Broadway, we have several Broadway people. So this program really deserves a lot of recognition for the services it has done over the years.”

The media, including the Pacific News Center, along with local nonprofit organizations was able to experience the dress rehearsal for the show on April 18.

Those interested in celebrating VPA’s milestone by experiencing this show while supporting local talents, tickets are available at Elevenses Coffee Shop, Father Duenas Memorial School or