Virginia Theatre, (10/02/2003 - 8/22/2004)

First Preview: Aug 29, 2003
Opening Date: Oct 02, 2003
Closing Date: Aug 22, 2004
Total Previews: 40
Total Performances: 372

Category: Musical, Comedy, Puppets, Original, Broadway
Setting: Mushnik's flower shop on Skid Row.
Comments: Premiered Off-Off-Broadway at the Workshop of the Players' Art in May 1982, then transferred Off-Broadway to the Orpheum Theatre in July 1982, where it played for five years. Was considered a "Revival" for the purposes of the Tony nominations in 2004.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Jujamcyn Theaters (James H. Binger: Chairman; Rocco Landesman: President; Paul Libin: Producing Director; Jack Viertel: Creative Director)

Produced by Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, James D. Stern, Douglas L. Meyer, Rick Steiner/John & Bonnie Osher and Simone Genatt Haft; Produced in association with Frederic H. Mayerson and Amy Danis/Mark Johannes; Associate Producer: HoriPro/Tokyo Broadcasting System, Clear Channel Entertainment, Endgame Entertainment, Zemiro, M. Swinsky/M. Fuchs, Judith Marinoff Cohn and Rhoda Mayerson

Originally produced by The WPA Theatre; With the WPA Theatre, originally produced at the Orpheum Theatre by David Geffen, Cameron Mackintosh and The Shubert Organization (Gerald Schoenfeld: Chairman; Bernard B. Jacobs: President); A developmental production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS was presented at The Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre (Executive Producing Director: Barbara S. Stein; Artistic Director: David Arisco)

Book by Howard Ashman; Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Howard Ashman; Based on the film by Roger Corman; Based on the screenplay by Charles Griffith; Original Vocal Arrangements: Robert Billig; New Arrangements: Michael Kosarin; Music orchestrated by Danny Troob; Original Orchestrations by Robby Merkin; Musical Director: Henry Aronson

Directed by Jerry Zaks; Choreographed by Kathleen Marshall; Associate Choreographer: Vince Pesce

Scenic Design by Scott Pask; Costume Design by William Ivey Long; Lighting Design by Donald Holder; Sound Design by T. Richard Fitzgerald; Puppet Design by The Jim Henson Company and Martin P. Robinson; Hair and Wig Design by Robert-Charles Vallance; Make-Up Design by Angelina Avallone; Associate Scenic Design: Orit Jacoby Carroll; Associate Costume Design: Tom Beall; Associate Lighting Design: Vivien Leone; Associate Sound Design: Carl Casella and Domonic Sack; Automated Light Programmer: Aland Henderson and William McLachlan

General Manager: Richard Frankel Productions and Jo Porter; Company Manager: Sammy Ledbetter; Associate Co. Mgr: Grant A. Rice

Production Manager: Juniper Street Productions; Production Stage Manager: Karen Armstrong; Stage Manager: Adam John Hunter

Music Supervisor: Michael Kosarin; Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Conducted by Henry Aronson; Associate Conductor: John Samorian; Music Preparation: Miller Music Services; Keyboard: Henry Aronson and John Samorian; Guitars/Mandolin: John Benthal; Bass: Steve Gelfand; Drums: Rich Mercurio; Percussion: David Yee; Trumpets: Tony Kadleck and David Spier; Woodwinds: Tom Murray and Matt Hong; Synthesizer Programmer: Henry Aronson

Casting: Bernard Telsey Casting, Inc.; Press Representative: Barlow-Hartman Public Relations; Advertising: Serino Coyne, Inc.; Promotions / Marketing: TMG - The Marketing Group; Photographer: Paul Kolnik; Dance Captain: Carla J. Hargrove

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Opening Night Cast

Kerry ButlerAudrey
(Aug 29, 2003 - Jun 20, 2004)
Hunter FosterSeymour
(Aug 29, 2003 - Jun 06, 2004)
Rob BartlettMushnik
Douglas SillsOrin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce and Everyone Else
(Aug 29, 2003 - Jun 13, 2004)
Derelict, Skid Row Occupant
Anthony AsburyDerelict, Skid Row Occupant
Audrey II (Manipulation)
Carla J. Hargrove
Broadway debut
Ronnette
Trisha Jeffrey
Broadway debut
Crystal
DeQuina Moore
Broadway debut
Chiffon
Don MorrowPrologue Voice
Recorded voice only
Bill RemingtonAudrey II (Manipulation)
Derelict, Skid Row Occupant
Martin P. RobinsonAudrey II (Manipulation)
Derelict, Skid Row Occupant
Matt VogelAudrey II (Manipulation)
Derelict, Skid Row Occupant
Michael-Leon WooleyThe Voice of Audrey II
Derelict, Skid Row Occupant

Understudies: Ta'Rea Campbell (Chiffon, Crystal, Ronnette), Ray DeMattis (Mushnik), Michael James Leslie (The Voice of Audrey II), Jonathan Rayson (Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce and Everyone Else, Seymour) and Jessica-Snow Wilson (Audrey)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

 2004 Best Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Hunter Foster

Drama Desk Award

 2004 Outstanding Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Hunter Foster

Songs

music by Alan Menken; lyrics by Howard Ashman

ACT 1 Sung By
Little Shop of HorrorsChiffon, Crystal and Ronnette
Downtown (Skid Row)Company
Da-DooSeymour, Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette
Grow for MeSeymour
Ya Never KnowMushnik, Seymour, Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette
Somewhere That's GreenAudrey
Closed for RenovationMushnik, Seymour and Audrey
Dentist!Orin, Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette
Mushnik and SonMushnik and Seymour
Git ItSeymour, The Voice of Audrey II, Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette
Now (It's Just the Gas)Orin and Seymour
ACT 2 Sung By
Call Back in the MorningAudrey and Seymour
Suddenly SeymourSeymour, Audrey, Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette
SuppertimeThe Voice of Audrey II, Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette
The Meek Shall InheritSeymour, Chiffon, Crystal, Ronnette, Bernstein, Luce and Snip
Sominex/Suppertime (Reprise)Audrey and The Voice of Audrey II
Somewhere That's Green (Reprise) Audrey
Don't Feed the PlantsCompany

Reviews


AP: "Man-Eating Plant is Back, Now on Broadway"

Some 20 years after its initial off-Broadway triumph, can a blood-lusting, man-eating plant find happiness in the big leagues of Broadway?

Yes indeed, if the leafy creature happens to be Audrey II in "Little Shop of Horrors," one of the more indestructible musicals of the 1980s.

This spiffy revival, which opened Thursday, has been visually enhanced to fill the stage of the Virginia Theatre, one of Broadway's least hospitable theaters. In the process, Audrey II has grown to be quite a behemoth -and a little scarier.

Yet outside of those enlargements, don't expect any startling revisions in director Jerry Zaks' musical, which he resurrected and mostly recast after a Florida tryout floundered earlier this year.

"Little Shop" has always been a small show, a good-natured yet cheeky concoction that exudes a brash buoyancy - a necessary ingredient for any musical comedy worth its sass.

Creators Howard Ashman (book and lyrics) and Alan Menken (music) didn't take their source material - Roger Corman's classic 1960 film too seriously, and that irreverence paid off. Shades of "Hairspray" (which "Little Shop" proceeded by two decades), their pop score bubbles merrily; it manages to send up and pay homage to the music of an era when father knew best and mom was a cross between Betty Crocker and Donna Reed.

For those who came in late, our tale is set in a failing Skid Row flower shop, owned by the schlumpy Mr. Mushnik. Its hero is the sad-sack orphan Seymour, a shop employee who cultivates an unusual plant that happens to thrive on human flesh.

Seymour pines for Mushnik's ditsy salesgirl, Audrey, the namesake for his peculiar piece of flora. Audrey is a blond bombshell of the Marilyn Monroe variety, a woman who has a weakness for men who treat her wrong, particularly a masochistic, motorcycle-riding dentist.

Audrey II grows. Boy, does it, thanks to the outsized, outrageous new designs by Martin P. Robinson. The plant, which also acquires a voice (a booming Michael Leon-Wooley), is nourished first by drops of blood from Seymour's bandage-covered fingers and later from victims provided by the hapless Seymour. His Faustian bargain with the plant ensures not only success for the shop but hope for his relationship with Audrey.

Zaks has cast the show with care.

Hunter Foster possesses a delightful Howdy Doody earnestness that gives Seymour a likability that pushes beyond the character's comic-strip confines. Plus, Foster (who last starred on Broadway in "Urinetown") is a more than efficient song-and-dance man.

Then there's Kerry Butler who has the unenviable job of slipping into the tight blouses and even tighter pedal pushers once worn by the incomparable Ellen Greene in the original production. If not as innately funny as Greene, Butler does just fine, particularly during a wistful rendition of Audrey's big solo "Somewhere That's Green."

As Mushnik, Rob Bartlett seems to be channeling Zero Mostel (particularly Mostel playing Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof'), but the choice pays off.

The hardest working actor on stage - and the one with the quickest costume changes - is Douglas Sills since he portrays a parade of characters, including the demented dentist. They are all done with hammy expertise.

The three ladies of the chorus - DeQuina Moore, Trisha Jeffrey and Carla J. Hargrove - epitomize the girl groups of the early '60s, and choreographer Kathleen Marshall has given them the grooviest of moves.

Designer Scott Pask's looming tenements have a menacing quality, an otherworldly feel just right for this spooky story.

If the production is tinged with a little melancholy for theater buffs, that's because the show is a sobering reminder that Ashman died of AIDS in 1991. After "Little Shop," he and Menken collaborated on Disney animated films, giving us at least one classic, "Beauty and the Beast," which eventually found its way to Broadway in a lavish stage version.

Still, those Disney movies and "Little Shop" provide a potent legacy, not to mention allowing audiences to again get reacquainted with that formidable stage presence known as Audrey II.


AP
10/02/2003

Replacement/Transfer Info


The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.


Virginia Theatre

(10/2/2003 - 8/22/2004)

Cast

Anthony Asbury
Dentist's Patient
Robert Evan
Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce and Everyone Else (Jun 29, 2004 - Aug 22, 2004)
Joey Fatone
Seymour (Jun 22, 2004 - Aug 22, 2004)
Jonathan Rayson
Seymour (Jun 8, 2004 - Jun 20, 2004)
Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce and Everyone Else (Jun 22, 2004 - Jun 27, 2004)
Bill Remington
Dentist's Patient
Darren Ritchie
Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce and Everyone Else (Jun 15, 2004 - Jun 20, 2004)
Martin P. Robinson
Dentist's Patient
Matt Vogel
Dentist's Patient
Jessica-Snow Wilson
Audrey (Jun 22, 2004 - Aug 22, 2004)


Standbys: James Ludwig (Orin, Seymour).

Understudies: Dana Dawson (Chiffon, Crystal, Ronnette), Mylinda Hull (Audrey), Darren Ritchie (Orin, Bernstein, Snip, Luce and Everyone Else, Seymour), Michael A. Shepperd (The Voice of Audrey II).


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