Spring comes alive, literally, for 'Little Shop of Horrors'

Just in time for spring, an unusual plant is growing in Waterman Theatre as the theatre department begins construction on the spring musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”

A science fiction spoof, “Little Shop of Horrors” follows Seymour, an inept florist’s assistant, who discovers an exotic little plant with a strange appetite. Based on the film by Roger Corman, the production features music by Alan Menken, with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman.

Menken is best known for a string of hit musical scores for Disney’s animated features “Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin.” Menken’s first big success came with the 1982 off-Broadway production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

The music for the show does not come from a typical pit orchestra, said the production’s musical director, Todd Graber. “The orchestra includes keyboard, synthesizer, bass, guitar and drums—a basic rock ensemble—and much of the vocal writing has been heavily influenced by the Motown sound with some gospel flavor added in,” he said.

Jonel Langenfeld-Rial directs the production. Choreographer is Cheryl Wilkins-Mitchell. Danielle Valeriano, the assistant director, and Dan Williams, assistant to the music director, are among many students working behind the scenes.

Completing the design team are Joe Rial, scenic and plant puppet design, assisted by student Kate Dolan; Johan Godwaldt, light design, assisted by student Heather Berg; Katrin Nauman-Hutchinson, guest costume designer, assisted by student Sara Chobot; Jessica Hester, dramaturge, with student assistant Wayne Yaddow; and Ryan Ignaszewski and Matthew J. Boudreau, student sound designers. Stage manager is Megan Myerov, assisted by Greg Salmon and Joe Calverase, all students.

The student cast of the production includes Steven Mazzoccone as Seymour, Megan McGarvey as Audrey, Trevor Franklin as Orin, Brian Heyman as Mr. Mushnik, Kathryn Kobos as Ronnette, Penelope Marcelle as Chiffon, Jodi Castello as Crystal and DeShawn Boyd as the voice of Audrey II.

A preview performance will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20, with all seats $6.

“Little Shop of Horrors” will open at 8 p.m. Friday, April 21, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. Additional performances will begin at 8 p.m. April 22 and 29 with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, April 30. 

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and children and $7 for SUNY Oswego students.

For reservations, call the Tyler box office at 312-2141 or e-mail tickets@oswego.edu.

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(Posted: Mar 22, 2006)