Music by Alan Menken
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Directed and Choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Music Direction by Dan Rodriguez
Featuring: Remo Airaldi*, Lovely Hoffman*, Tim Hoover, Jeff Marcus*, Carla Martinez*, Yewande Odetoyinbo*, Katrina Z Pavao, Pier Lamia Porter*, Dan Prior
Scenic Design by Janie E. Howland
Costume Design by Marian Bertone
Sound Design by Andrew Duncan Will
Lighting Design by Frank Meissner, Jr.
Puppet Design by Cameron McEachern
Fight Choreography by J. T. Turner
Wardrobe: Ashley Rabon
Assistant Director: Blake Du Bois
Production Stage Manager: Robin Grady
Assistant Stage Manager: Nerys Powell
Props Artisan: Lauren Corcuera
Season sponsored by Richard & Sally Zeckhauser, Joe Richard & Rene Morrissette
in Memory of Rose Rocco and Yves Morrissette, and
Production sponsored by Tim & Linda Holiner
Director Rachel Bertone is sponsored by Physician Management Resources
Puppet Designer Cameron MacEachern sponsored by Paul & Liz Kastner
This award-winning sci-fi pulp musical about nebbishy Seymour who haplessly pines after his coworker Audrey. Suddenly, opportunity falls into his lap in the form of a mysterious, carnivorous, conniving – not to mention singing – plant that promises to fulfill Seymour’s every wish.
“A show for horticulturists, horror-cultists, sci-fi fans, and anyone with a taste for the outrageous.” – NY Times
This production uses theatrical haze.
Cast & Crew
Dan Prior – Seymour Krelborn
Dan Prior (Seymour Krelborn) is making his Lyric Stage debut. New England credits include 1776 (New Rep), Fun Home (Cape Rep), Cabaret (Moonbox Productions), The Liar (Wellesley Rep), The Music Man (Theatre by the Sea), Sense and Sensibility (Maiden Phoenix Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof (New Rep), Carousel (Reagle Music Theatre), The Last Five Years (Arts After Hours), and Polish Joke (Titanic Theatre). A Boston-based actor, writer, musician, and voice teacher, Dan attended Ithaca College and received a B.M. in Vocal Performance and Education. danprior.com
Katrina Z Pavao – Audrey
Katrina Z Pavao (Audrey) is a Boston–based actress who appeared at the Lyric Stage in Kiss of the Spiderwoman last season. Recent credits include Cabaret (Moonbox Productions), In the Heights (Wheelock Family Theatre), and Spring Awakening (Wilbury Theatre Group). M.F.A. in Musical Theatre from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Katrina would like to thank her family, friends, and Rachel for all their endless love and support. So much love to the cast and crew of this incredible show! katrinazpavao.com
Yewande Odetoyinbo* – Audrey II, voice
Yewande Odetoyinbo* (Audrey II, voice) returns to the Lyric Stage having appeared in Breath & Imagination (IRNE Award, Best Supporting Actress) and The Wiz. Other credits: Caroline or Change (SpeakEasy Stage), Fannie Lou at Carnegie Hall, Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds (Adventure Theatre, national tour), Trav’lin: The 1930s Harlem Musical (Seven Angels Theatre), Show Boat (Reagle Music Theatre and Fiddlehead Theatre), In the Heights, and Seussical (Wheelock Family Theatre). Staged readings with The Front Porch Arts Collective and Goodspeed Opera House. Her dream is to teach theatre to inner-city youth and to open a performing arts school in her father’s hometown of Osogbo, Nigeria. Native of Detroit, MI; B.F.A. from Howard University; M.F.A. from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Ase!
Lovely Hoffman* – Crystal
Lovely Hoffman* (Crystal) returns to the Lyric Stage after having appeared in Ain’t Misbehavin’. Lovely is an award-winning performer and educator. In 2017, Lovely released her single “My Black Is Beautiful”, a song about self-love, which went viral and reached #45 on the Adult Contemporary Radio Charts. Lovely has been featured on CNN, BET, and TeenVogue. She was also featured in Lysol’s national “Thank You Teachers” commercial campaign. In 2015, Lovely won the IRNE Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Celie in The Color Purple (SpeakEasy Stage). Favorite theatre credits include Hairspray, Kiss Me, Kate, Doubt: A Parable, Avenue Q, and Ragtime. She is a graduate of Boston College and proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Carla Martinez* – Ronnette
Carla Martinez* (Ronnette) returns to Lyric Stage having appeared in Company and My Fair Lady. Off-Broadway: Brecht on Brecht (PTP/NYC). Credits include: Little Shop of Horrors, Ragtime (Trinity Rep), Man in the Ring, Merrily We Roll Along (Huntington Theatre), Barnum, The Wild Party (Moonbox Productions), Brecht on Brecht (New Rep), Far from Heaven (SpeakEasy Stage), Mary Poppins, Shrek, Hairspray, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Oliver! (Wheelock Family Theatre). Other: A performer, educator and choreographer, she is a proud member of AEA and serves on the Board of Trustees at her alma mater, Berklee College of Music. Love to J. carla-martinez.com
Pier Lamia Porter* – Chiffon
Pier Lamia Porter* (Chiffon) returns to the Lyric Stage having appeared in The Wiz. She most recently appeared in Caroline or Change (Moonbox Productions), Die Fledermaus (Mass Opera), Ragtime, Beauty and Beast (Wheelock Family Theater), 1776 (New Rep), To Kill a Mockingbird (Emerson Umbrella), Most Happy Fella, and The Music Man (RMT). She was a featured soloist in the concert premiere of the musical Brother Nat at the Emerson Paramount Theater and most recently a part of the workshop reading of Diaspora through the Boston Theatre Project (SpeakEasy Stage). A native of Las Vegas, she holds a B.M. in Opera Performance from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, and is a proud member of AEA. Instagram: @pierlamiaporter
Jeff Marcus* – Orin and others
Jeff Marcus* (Orin and others) returns to the Lyric Stage having previously appeared in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Camelot. Recent credits include It’s a Wonderful Life (Greater Boston Stage Company), Gooney Bird Greene, Stuart Little (Wheelock Family Theatre), Shakespeare in Love (SpeakEasy Stage), The Aliens (Theatre on Fire), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (Company One), and Noises Off (Hackmatack Theater). Jeff is a proud member of Actors Equity and gives many thanks to his family and friends. And Emma.
Remo Airaldi* – Mr. Mushnik
Remo Airaldi* (Mr. Mushnik) returns to the Lyric Stage having previously appeared in The Little Foxes, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, and My Fair Lady. He appeared in over sixty productions at the American Repertory Theater, including Night of the Iguana, Cabaret, Oliver Twist (also at Theatre for a New Audience and Berkeley Repertory Theatre), and Island of Slaves (IRNE Award, Outstanding Actor). Other credits: nine productions including last summer’s Cymbeline (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), Shakespeare in Love (SpeakEasy Stage), Frankenstein (Central Square Theater), The King of Second Avenue (New Rep), and productions at La Jolla Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, Cirque du Soleil, American Conservatory Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Moscow Art Theatre, and Taipei International Arts Festival. He is a Lecturer in Theater, Dance, and Media at Harvard University.
Tim Hoover – Audrey II, Puppeteer
Tim Hoover (Audrey II, Puppeteer), a Boston-area native, is making his Lyric Stage debut. Notable credits include Wit, and Three Days of Rain (Hub Theatre), Dog Act, and Exit, Pursued by a Bear (Theatre on Fire), Grapes of Wrath, Rhinoceros (Apollinaire Theatre), Little Giants: The Short Plays of Thornton Wilder (imaginary beasts), 2010! Our Hideous Future (Unreliable Narrator), T! An MBTA Musical (Improv Boston) and Penny Jive (Myss Ripley’s). Other credits include New Rep, Greater Boston Stage Company, O.W.I., Sleeping Weazel, Praxis Stage, Publick Theatre, Sύgán, and Whistler in the Dark. He writes the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston newsletter and is proudly a Union Tour Guide of Boston’s Freedom Trail with The Bellringers’ Guild (Unite Here! Local 26)
Rachel Bertone – Director/Choreographer
Rachel Bertone (Director/Choreographer) returns to the Lyric Stage having directed and choreographed Gypsy and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Direction/Choreography: Cabaret (IRNE Awards: Best Direction, Choreography, Musical), Carousel (IRNE: Best Choreography), In the Heights (IRNE: Best Musical), The Wild Party (IRNE: Best Musical), Billy Elliot, Show Boat, Barnum, Heathers, Musical of Musicals, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolar Dreamcoat, Brundibar, But the Giraffe, Creative License. Recent Choreography: West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, Les Misérables, A New Brain, Mamma Mia, Lucky Stiff, Company, City of Angels, Big River, Animal Crackers, Camelot. Bertone has served on the faculties of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Emerson College, and the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University. B.F.A. from the Boston Conservatory. Special thanks to Spiro for his continued collaborations.
Dan Rodriguez – Musical Director/Piano
Dan Rodriguez (Music Director) returns to the Lyric Stage having been Music Director for Gypsy and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Dan’s other recent area credits include Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music (Huntington Theatre), Music Man, Anything Goes, Chorus Line (Reagle Music Theater), The Lily’s Revenge, The Blue Flower (American Repertory Theatre), In the Heights (Wheelock Family Theatre), Cabaret, The Wild Party, Musical of Musicals (Moonbox Productions), and productions at many other area theaters, as well as the Boston Conservatory, Emerson College, and other schools. His work has earned him four IRNE Awards for Best Music Direction.
Janie E. Howland** – Scenic Design
Janie E. Howland** (Scenic Design). Recent Lyric designs: Pacific Overtures, Little Foxes; Other designs include La Belle Hélène (Odyssey Opera), Nat Turner in Jerusalem (ASP), Urban Nutcracker (Tony Williams Dance Center), Art Makes Sense CONSENSES Exhibit (Mass MOCA). Other venues include: NYCDA, Lynn Redgrave Theatre (NY), Harvard Univ., Moonbox Productions, Boston Children’s Theatre, New Rep, Weston Playhouse (VT), North Shore Music Theatre, Central Square Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage, Ohio Star Theatre (OH), A.R.T. Institute, Boston Conservatory, Company One, Stoneham Theatre, Seacoast Rep, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival (NJ), Huntington Theatre. Brandeis University M.F.A.; four-time Elliot Norton Award winner, four-time IRNE Award winner; adjunct faculty at Emerson College, Wellesley College. USA Local 829. janiehowland.com
Marian Bertone – Costume Design
Marian Bertone (Costume Design) returns to the Lyric Stage having recently designed Kiss of the Spider Woman. She has been designing costumes for theater and dance in the Boston area for over 30 years. Theater credits include: Cabaret (IRNE Award), Barnum (IRNE Award), The Wild Party, Musical of Musicals, (Moonbox Productions), In the Heights (Wheelock Family Theater), 42nd Street, Anything Goes, West Side Story, Grease, Once On This Island, Spring Awakening, and numerous plays including, Cripple of Inishmaan, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (Walnut Hill School). Ballet credits includes several Nutcrackers, Balanchine’s Serenade and Who Cares, numerous original classical and contemporary repertory pieces, and remounts of Mark Morris’ Gloria, Doug Varone’s Lux, and Joe Cvala’s The Red Walls.
Andrew Duncan Will – Sound Design
Andrew Duncan Will (Sound Design) previously designed Pacific Overtures, Gypsy, Murder for Two, Company, Sondheim on Sondheim, Dear Elizabeth, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and One Man, Two Guvnors for the Lyric Stage. Recent local sound designs include productions for Boston Public Works, Stoneham Theatre, Fresh Ink, Hasty Pudding, SpeakEasy Stage, Bad Habit Productions, Flotsam Productions, Gloucester Stage, Puppet Showplace Theater, Company One, New Rep, Fresh Ink, Commonwealth Shakespeare, The Poets’ Theatre, and the A.R.T. Institute. Andrew received an M.F.A. in Sound Design from Boston University.
Franklin Meissner Jr.** – Lighting Design
Franklin Meissner, Jr.** (Lighting Design) returns to the Lyric Stage after designing the lighting for Kiss of the Spider Woman, Gypsy, Company, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sweeney Todd (IRNE Award), By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Avenue Q, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Understudy, and According To Tip. His work has also been seen Off and Off-Off Broadway in NYC, at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (IRNE Award), New Rep (three IRNE awards), Wheelock Family Theatre (Elliot Norton Award), The Boston Conservatory, Stoneham Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage, Northeastern University, Central Square Theatre, the North Shore Music Theatre, the South Shore Music Circus, Sanders Theatre, various corporate events and colleges around the state, and at 40 Carnegie Hall performances. Mr. Meissner is a member of United Scenic Artists. For Abby. FranklinMeissner.com
Cameron McEachern – Puppet Designer
Cameron McEachern (Puppet Design) is a Boston-based scenic artist, designer, prop fabricator, and costumer making his Lyric Stage debut. As a freelance artist, he has been fortunate to work with companies including the American Repertory Theater, Moonbox Productions, Reagle Music Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, The Company Theatre, and New England Scenic. He is also the paint charge for Wicked Amusements – an escape room and interactive amusement design company.
Robin Grady* – Production Stage Manager
Robin Grady* (Production Stage Manager) has stage managed at the Lyric Stage for over 10 years, including Camelot, Into the Woods, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, The Mikado, Big River, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Follies. Regional credits include Trinity Rep, Gamm Theatre, Barrington Stage, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theater, Huntington Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Reagle Music Theatre, Wheelock Family Theatre, Ocean State Theater, Gloucester Stage, Theatre By The Sea, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and Fiddlehead Theatre Company. Robin has a B.F.A. in Stage Management from URI and has been a proud member of AEA since 2008.
Nerys Powell* – Assistant Stage Manager
Nerys Powell* (Assistant Stage Manager) was the AEA Assistant Stage Manager last season for Kiss of the Spider Woman and the Production Stage Manager for Breath & Imagination, The Little Foxes, and Pacific Overtures. Nerys holds a B.A. in English Literature from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY and is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association.
Lauren Corcuera – Props Artisan
Lauren Corcuera (Props Artisan) returns to the Lyric Stage after joining the team for last season’s Breath & Imagination. Select prop credits include Cabaret (Moonbox Productions), Noire Hamlet (CentAstage), Circle Mirror Transformation (Brandeis University), The Agitators, and Barefoot in the Park (Gloucester Stage). She holds a B.F.A. in theatre design and technology from Emerson College.
Blake Du Bois – Assistant Director
Blake Du Bois (Assistant Director) is a native of the California Bay Area and is a rising Junior at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee where he is pursuing his B.F.A. in musical theater. While at school, Blake participates as a member of Newground Theater Company, which is devoted to producing works written and directed by the student body. Next spring he will be debuting his original play What Love Is Not through Newground. Directing credits include: Dahmer: A Musical (Newground). Assistant directing credits include: Six Steps West (Newground), Falsettos (BoCo). Performing credits include Heathers (Priscilla Beach Theatre), The Royal Family of Broadway (Barrington Stage Company), Incident at Vichy, Fools, Equus, Three Days of Rain (BoCo).
* denotes member of Actor’s Equity Association
** denotes member of United Scenic Artists (USA-Local 829)
Press & Reviews
While the dueling bicoastal productions of Little Shop both begin performances on September 17, Boston’s Lyric Stage Company will have its production up and running on August 30. Rachel Bertone directs this limited run, which ends October 6. The promotional images suggest a fun (if traditional) take on the show.
But you needn’t feel any need to rush down to New York, not when Bertone has brought “Little Shop’’ to life in all its deranged glory. The director, whose track record when it comes to staging vibrant musicals grows more impressive each season, draws on the talents of a crackerjack design team that includes Janie E. Howland.
As one character puts it earlier in the show, “you’re not in Kansas anymore”. She is, after all, an omnivore, devouring actors, audiences, theater critics….and even on one’s fifth viewing, it grows on you. (In fact this may well be the best version yet seen). It’s a stupendous start for Lyric Stage’s season.
Kudos to Marion Bertone for her splendid costumes throughout, especially for the girl group singers who one moment appear as guttersnipes crouching in the grit of Skid Row, the next as singers who wow us with smashing matching outfits… Put together the power of their harmonies with the eye-filling costumes and you have delightfully garish vocal eye candy.
Thankfully, there are plenty of other reasons to head to the Lyric Stage where this Howard Ashman-Alan Menken musical is getting a letter-perfect production under the sure hand of Rachel Bertone.
Janie E. Howland has once again designed a stunning set for the Lyric that takes your breath away. Given the intimate layout of the theatre, every seat feels like the audience is in the shop as this plant comes alive. I also must commend Cameron McEachern for exquisite puppet design.
Director Bertone does a marvelous job with the choreography in the Lyric’s intimate space, and the klezmer/tango duet, “Mushnik & Son” between Seymour and Mushnik is a howl. But it’s the way that she allows her actors to find subtle comic touches in the work that really elevates this outstanding production.
Opening Aug. 30 is the Lyric Stage Company’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” directed and choreographed by Rachel Bertone. This award-winning sci-fi pulp musical follows Seymour, who haplessly pines after Audrey, his coworker. Suddenly, opportunity falls into his lap in the form of a mysterious, carnivorous, conniving — not to mention singing — plant that promises to fulfill Seymour’s every wish.
“There’s a little bit of monster in all of us,” Yewande Odetoyinbo says with a laugh as she prepares to play the carnivorous plant Audrey II in the Lyric Stage Company’s “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“This is a funny, heavy, campy, dark and joyful show with a lot of heart,” [Prior] assures. “I want people to walk away having escaped into our fantasy…forgetting their own woes. On top of that I want people to hum the music while they ponder perils presented and steer clear of Seymour’s pitfalls.”
But this plant craves not raindrops, or sunlight, but blood. With timeless songs and impressive puppetry designed by Cameron McEachern, this new production of “Little Shop of Horrors” is a delightfully dark cautionary tale. “The Lyric plants us in an enjoyable patch,” says Jared, “with a surprisingly sinister look at the dangerous tendrils of fame and fortune.”
“Little Shop of Horrors” remains a first-rate, horrifically funny musical tragi-comedy, putting its best tendril forward in its current production at the Lyric.
Lyric Stage Company’s aromatic revival of “Little Shop of Horrors” is a vivid bouquet with pleasures for everyone.
Undaunted by that long history, Bertone and company have found a way to put their singular imprint on the musical. If they can figure out a way to convert applause and enthusiastic audiences into plant food, Audrey II and this Little Shop might keep on going.
Director Rachel Bertone who is also the choreographer and musical director Dan Rodriguez lead this marvelously talented cast as they act, sing and dance their way into the hearts of a very appreciative audience on a fun-filled journey to Skid Row in NYC. A resounding standing ovation is their reward on a job extremely well done.
Best production of this delightfully fun show that I have experienced in my 33 year reviewing career!
However, the real spectacle is Audrey II, the sly, soulful plant that changes everything. With versatile and grimly wise vocals by Yewande Odetoyinbo, inventively manipulated by Tim Hoover, and skillfully designed by Cameron McEachern… Audrey II is handled is such an innovative, natural, and majestic way, the results are truly mesmerizing.
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Running Time: 2 hours, including one 15 minute intermission
Box Office: 617-585-5678