Little Shop of Horrors

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

Summary

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.

Trigger Warnings: domestic abuse, mention of self harm, drug abuse, murder, use of gun

 

Seymour and Audrey are co-workers at Mushnik’s Skid Row Florists, a run-down flower shop owned and operated by Mr. Mushnik. Seymour has recently obtained a mysterious plant that looks like a large venus flytrap. While he was browsing the wholesale flower district, a sudden eclipse of the sun occurred, and when the light returned, the weird plant had appeared and Seymour names it Audrey II because he is secretly in love with Audrey. 

The plant appears to be dying and Seymour questions why it should be doing poorly, since he takes such good care of it. He accidentally pricks his finger on a rose thorn, which draws blood, and Audrey II’s pod opens. Seymour realizes that Audrey II requires blood to survive and allows the plant to suckle from his finger. As Audrey II grows, it becomes an attraction and starts generating business for Mushnik. Seymour is suddenly regarded as a hero while Audrey secretly longs to leave her abusive boyfriend, a dentist named Orin, and lead an ideal suburban life with Seymour.

Mushnik realizes that his store’s sudden profitability is completely dependent on the plant and takes advantage of Seymour by offering to adopt him and make him a full partner in the business and he accepts. Seymour stops feeding the plant and it demands it needs blood and promises that, if fed, it will make sure that all of Seymour’s dreams come true. Seymour initially refuses, but he then witnesses Orin abusing Audrey. The plant presents this as a justification for killing Orin and Seymour gives in and agrees. 

He sets up a late-night appointment with Orin, intending to kill him but Orin, who is getting high on nitrous oxide, gets the gas device’s “on” button stuck, and he overdoses while asking Seymour to save him. Seymour lets him die of asphyxiation and he feeds Orin’s body to Audrey II.

Audrey confides to Seymour that she feels guilty about Orin’s disappearance, because she secretly wished it. The two admit their feelings for one another, and Seymour promises that he will protect and care for Audrey from now on. 

Mushnik confronts Seymour about Orin’s death and Seymour denies killing him. Audrey II tells Seymour that he has to be rid of Mushnik or he will lose everything, including Audrey so Seymour tells Mushnik that he put the days’ receipts inside Audrey II for safekeeping so he climbs inside the plant to search for the money and is devoured. Seymour runs from the flower shop and considers destroying the plant but believing that his fame is the only thing that is earning him Audrey’s love, he doesn’t.

Audrey II continues to beg for blood and Seymour threatens to kill it just as Audrey walks in asking when Mushnik will return from visiting his “sick sister”. Seymour learns that Audrey would still love him without the fame and decides that Audrey II must die.. Audrey is confused and frightened by Seymour’s ramblings, but she runs home by his order. That night, unable to sleep, Audrey goes to the flower shop to talk with him. He is not there, and Audrey II begs her to water it. Audrey II wraps its vines around her and Seymour arrives and attacks the plant and gets Audrey out, but she is mortally wounded. Her dying wish is for Seymour to feed her to the plant after she dies so that they can always be together. She dies in his arms, and he reluctantly honors her request. Seymour falls asleep as Audrey II grows small red flower buds.

The next day, World Botanical Enterprises tells Seymour that the company wishes to take leaf cuttings of Audrey II. He tries shooting, cutting, and poisoning the plant, but it has grown too hardy to kill. Seymour, in desperation, runs into its open jaws with a machete planning to kill it from the inside, but he is quickly eaten. They search to find Seymour but eventually take the cuttings.

Other plants appeared across America, tricking innocent people into feeding them blood in exchange for fame and fortune and everyone begs to not feed the plants.

Video

Photos

Little Shop of Horrors Production Photos

Little Shop of Horrors First Rehearsal

Dramaturgy

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 WrathRhinoceros (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 MusicalsJoseph and the Amazing Technicolar DreamcoatBrundibar, But the Giraffe, Creative License. Recent Choreography: West Side StoryMy Fair Lady, Guys and DollsSouth PacificLes Misérables, A New Brain, Mamma MiaLucky 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, GypsyMurder for TwoCompanySondheim on Sondheim, Dear Elizabeth, Sweeney ToddInto 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).

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.

Revivals of Little Shop of Horrors Open Across America | Theater Mania

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.

Lyric’s “Little Shop”: It Grows on You | South Shore Critic

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.

A Fun Romp with an Appetite for Blood | ArtsFuse

This Audrey 2 is something; but so is this ensemble, who bring this comic book tale its heart and quite a bit of soul. Dan Prior is well-cast as the conflicted Seymour, the nerd who finds his way to romance and fame but at a high cost. He has great chemistry with the wonderful Katrina Z. Pavao who, as Audrey, brings touching authenticity to what is a musical archetype.

Little Shop of Horrors | Edge Media Network

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.

Review: Little Shop of Horrors | Theater Talk Boston

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.

Darkly Comic ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Rocks the Lyric Stage | The Theater Mirror

Ticket Prices

Day Center Section Side Section
Wed Mat $57 $40
Wed/Thur/Fri $73 $53
Sat/Sun $79 $59

Buy Tickets

August 30 — October 6
3:00 pm

Running Time: 2 hours, including one 15 minute intermission
Box Office: 617-585-5678
boxoffice@lyricstage.com

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