It has just been announced that the new production of the 1982 Howard Ashman/Alan Menken cult musical Little Shop of Horrors currently playing at the Actors' Playhosue in Coral Gables, Florida, will not come to Broadway's Virginia Theatre this summer as originally planned. The show will close in Coral Gables on June 15 and the Broadway run has been canceled. Little Shop was to have begun previews at the Virginia on July 16 and to have officially opened there on August 14.

In a statement contained in a press release, producer Marc Routh said: "We feel an obligation to everyone involved with Little Shop, and to the ticket-buying public, to insure that the work we present on Broadway represents the best work we can do. In spite of the great number of talented people involved, the elements of this production did not come together in the way we would have liked."

The producers now hope to open a "newly conceived" production of the musical on Broadway later this year, and they are in discussions with Jerry Zaks (45 Seconds From Broadway, Guys and Dolls, etc.) to take over as director. The current production of Little Shop is directed by Connie Grappo and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, with set design by Scott Pask, costume design by Laura Bauer, and lighting design by Donald Holder. It stars Hunter Foster, Alice Ripley, Billy Porter, and Lee Wilkof (Grappo's husband, who played Seymour in the original production of Little Shop and is now playing Mushnik). Also featured in the cast are Anthony Asbury, Dioni Michelle Collins, Moeisha McGill, Bill Remington, Martin P. Robinson, Reg Rogers, and Haneefah Wood.

Little Shop of Horrors is the second show this year to announce a Broadway opening date, reserve a theater, and then cancel its New York engagement: A production of The Miracle Worker starring Hilary Swank was originally scheduled to open at The Music Box on April 24 but canceled that opening after its tryout engagement in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Those who purchased advance tickets for the Broadway engagement of Little Shop of Horrors through Telecharge should call 212-239-6200 to obtain refunds.