Little Shop of Horrors | 2014-2015 Season

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Little Shop of Horrors

Jan 13 – Feb 15

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$25 Section C tickets by phone or at the Box Office only.

A hapless skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation – and gets the girl of his dreams – when he discovers an exotic man-eating plant. This delightfully demented, charming and tuneful family musical blends doo-wop, rock and Motown into an affectionate cult classic send-up of B-movie horror flicks and the American Dream. From the award-winning songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.

Book by Howard Ashman
Music & Lyrics by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman
Directed by Sean Daniels
Musical Direction by Don Kot
Choreography by Wendy Seyb
Scenic Design by Michael Raiford
Costume Design by Jennifer Caprio
Lighting Design by Brian Lilienthal
Sound Design by Matthew Callahan
Wig & Makeup Design by Dave Bova
Dramaturgy by Jean Gordon Ryon

Run Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes, including intermission.
Age Recommendation: 10+ due to brief domestic violence and man-eating plant.

WILL BLUM

Seymour

WILL BLUM makes his Geva Theatre Center debut in Little Shop of Horrors. He was most recently seen in his award-winning performance as Ari “Lesh” Leshnikoff in Barry Manilow’s new musical Harmony at the Ahmanson and Alliance Theatres. Broadway credits include The Book of Mormon (Elder Cunningham) and Grease (Roger). Mr. Blum appeared in the National Tours of Elf: The Musical (Buddy the Elf), Hair (Margaret Mead / Dad / Tribe), Seussical (Horton) and Grease (Roger). Regional credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Barfée) at Paper Mill Playhouse and Philadelphia Theatre Company, Jesus Christ Superstar (King Herod) at Pittsburgh CLO, Sweet Charity (Oscar), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Hysterium), Big River (Huck) and Floyd Collins (Floyd). Mr. Blum received his B.F.A. from The Boston Conservatory. Instagram: @willblum

RAYMOND CARR

Puppeteer

RAYMOND CARR (Puppeteer) has been a Puppeteer filmmaker, and designer for more than 15 years in Atlanta. Starting at an early age, Raymond performed with his family’s clowning and puppetry troupe based out of Los Angeles. In 1999 he made Atlanta his home. He has traveled all over the country and to Europe performing the art of puppetry. Some of Mr. Carr’s credits include Puppeteer for Nick Jr’s “Lazytown;” head puppeteer for the North American tour of Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular; puppeteer/writer/director for various performances at the Center for Puppetry Art; and he is a regular performer at Dad’s Garage Puppet Slam and various other theatres. He has produced and directed several film and multimedia projects that have been featured in film festivals around the world and have won various awards. He has also been commissioned to create films and interactive puppetry experiences from organizations such as the Georgia Aquarium, Scoutmob, Dropbox and Ibex Puppetry run by Heather Henson.

TRISTA DOLLISON

Crystal

TRISTA DOLLISON makes her Geva Theatre Center debut in Little Shop of Horrors. Broadway credits include Disney’s The Lion King and Avenue Q. NY credits include Porgy & Bess, Randy Newman’s Faust (City Center) Easter Mysteries and Stand Tall (NYMF). Regionally, Ms. Dollison has appeared in Dreamgirls, The Buddy Holly Story, Once on This Island, Into the Woods and Hairspray. A proud member of Broadway Inspirational Voices. Lots of love to The Mine, Mom, Dad and my soon to be husband, Clarence. I can’t wait to be Mrs. Manuel!! Proverbs 3:5-6.

TALITHA FARROW

Chiffon

TALITHA FARROW is excited to make her Geva Theatre Center debut in Little Shop of Horrors as she grew up in Clarence, NY. She appeared in the national tours of The Book of Mormon, Dreamgirls and Hairspray. Ms Farrow is a graduate of AMDA-NY. She is always thankful to God for her talents and many blessings, as well as her family and friends who are extremely supportive. She also thanks her agents Dulcina Eisen Associates for all they do.

JOHN GREGORIO

Orin

JOHN GREGORIO is delighted to be returning to Geva Theatre Center for Little Shop of Horrors. He has previously appeared at Geva in The Book Club Play as Will, The 39 Steps as Richard Hannay. Off-Broadway credits include Around the World in 80 Days (The New Theater at 45th St.), Silent Laughter (The Lamb’s Theatre), The Nuclear Family (The Belt). Regional: A Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville), A Funny Thing…Forum (North Shore Music Theatre), The Legend of Pecos Bill (Alliance Theatre), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Dad’s Garage Theatre Co). Television: The Extended Family (Sundance), Good Eats (Food Network), Smoking Gun TV (Court TV).  John is a founding member of Dad’s Garage Theatre Company (Atlanta) and The Nuclear Family (New York) with whom he teaches and performs improvisation around the country. 

KRISTEN MENGELKOCH

Audrey

KRISTEN MENGLEKOCH is ecstatic to be back at Geva! Off-Broadway, she has performed in NEWSical the Musical and Forbidden Broadway. On television,
she appeared on “Veronica Mars.” Here on the Mainstage, Ms. Mengelkoch was seen
in Five Course Love, The Music Man, Perfect Wedding, Company and The Book
Club Play
.  She has done regional work throughout the country and now calls NYC home. A Kansas native, she holds a B.F.A. from Emporia State University and an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University.
All her love and thanks to everyone at Geva and ‘Team Daniels!’ www.kristenmengelkoch.com

GAVYN PICKENS

Ronette

GAVYN PICKENS is so happy to make her debut in Little Shop of Horrors at Geva Theatre! A graduate of Spelman College, she received her BA in Theatre. Ms. Pickens began dancing as a child and continued to perform through singing and acting. As the daughter of television and film star James Pickens Jr. (Dr. Webber on “Grey’s Anatomy”) she is now trying to make a name of her own. Regional credits include A Chorus Line and Night Writers. Other Credits include The Bluest Eye (director Jasmine Guy), Perp! The Criminal Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Amen Corner, Crowns, and The Glass Menagerie. Ms. Pickens is also an accomplished jazz and choral vocalist, has studied amongst some of the greats at the University of Oxford in England, and comedy improvisation at the world famous Groundlings and Second City in Hollywood, CA. 

DANNY RUTIGLIANO

Mr. Mushnik

DANNY RUTIGLIANO comes directly from the Goodspeed Opera House and Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn. He performed in the original Broadway and Los Angeles casts of The Lion King for which he received the Ovation Award for Best Supporting Actor. Other Broadway and National tour credits include Billy Elliot, Born Yesterday, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public. He starred in the international tour of Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel. He played the title role in City Center Encores! Fiorello. Other Encores! appearances include Bells Are Ringing, Kismet, The New Moon and One Touch of Venus. Off-Broadway credits include Silk Stockings, Hollywood Pinafore, Godspell, Yiddle With a Fiddle, Topper and Daydreams: The Music and Magic of Doris Day. TV/Film credits include “Blue Bloods,” “Elementary,” “Without a Trace,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,”  “My Big Fat Greek Life” (original pilot), “Three Sisters,” “Brothers Garcia,” “Naked Brothers Band,” “The Equalizer,” Goodfellas, 13, The Producers and Disney’s Dumbo II. Mr. Rutigliano has performed extensively in regional theatre and appeared in numerous commercials and voiceovers. His favorite role is husband to Jacqueline Monroe. dannyrutigliano.com

BETHANY THOMAS

Audrey II

BETHANY THOMAS is very excited to be making her Geva Theatre Center debut! Regional credits include The Color PurpleAin’t Misbehavin’ and Ragtime  at Milwaukee Rep); South Pacific at Marriott Lincolnshire (Chicago Jeff Award); Hairspray at Drury Lane Oakbrook; Hair at the Paramount Theatre; Porgy and Bess at Court Theatre; She Loves Me at Writers’ Theatre; We 3 Lizas at AboutFace Theater; and Yeast Nation  at American Theatre Company. Ms. Thomas resides in Chicago, where she is a familiar face/voice on the rock and roll scene. Don’t feed the plants.

HOWARD ASHMAN

Book & Lyrics

HOWARD ASHMAN wrote the lyrics for the Disney animated films The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin (three songs) and served as producer on The Little Mermaid and Executive Producer on Beauty and the Beast. With composer Alan Menken, he received two Academy Awards® and two Golden Globes® for Best Song (“Beauty and the Beast” and “Under the Sea”) and four Grammy® Awards. He received an Academy Award® nomination with Mr. Menken for “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin. As Author, Lyricist and Director for the stage musical Little Shop of Horrors, which ran for five years in New York and has been produced worldwide, Mr. Ashman received two Outer Critics¹ Circle Awards, a New York Drama Critics Circle Award, a London Evening Standard Award and a Drama Desk Award. For his screenplay version of Little Shop of Horrors, Mr. Ashman received a nomination from the Screen Writers Guild and “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space” was nominated (with Mr. Menken) for an Academy Award® for Best Song. He was Author, Lyricist and Director of Smile for which he received a Tony® nomination for Best Book. His other credits include God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and The Confirmation (his only full-length play). He was the Artistic Director of the WPA Theatre (1976-1982). Born on May 17, 1950 in Baltimore, Mr. Ashman died at age 40 of complications due to AIDS on March 14, 1991 in New York City. 

ALAN MENKEN

Composer

ALAN MENKEN’s theatre credits include God Bless You Mr Rosewater, Little Shop Of Horrors, Real Life Funnies, Atina: Evil Queen Of The Galaxy, Kicks, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, Beauty And The Beast, A Christmas Carol, Weird Romance, King David, Der Glackner Von Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap Of Faith, Aladdin and Newsies. Film credits include Little Shop Of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Hercules, Life With Mikey, Lincoln, Home On The Range, Noel, Enchanted, Shaggy Dog, Tangled and Mirror Mirror. Mr. Menken composed songs for Rocky V, Home Alone 2 and Captain America. He is the recipient of 8 Oscars (19 nominations), 11 Grammys (including Song of the Year) , 7 Golden Globes, a Tony® Award (plus 4 nominations), Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Drama Critics, Olivier and London’s Evening Standard Award, Drama League. He has been honored by the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and received honorary Doctorates from New York University and University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

SEAN DANIELS

Director

SEAN DANIELS has previously directed Informed Consent, The 39 Steps, The Book Club Play, 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, BOB, All Your Questions Answered, The Race of the Ark Tattoo and Noodle Doodle Box at Geva.  He is also the Artist-At-Large/Director of Artistic Engagement.  He previously spent four years at the Tony Award-winning Actors Theatre of Louisville as the theatre’s Associate Artistic Director (where he directed a record 17 productions including five Humana Festivals). Mr. Daniels is the former Associate Artistic Director/Resident Director of the California Shakespeare Theater and before that spent a decade as the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Dad’s Garage Theater Company in Atlanta, Ga.  He has directed for The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.; St James Theatre in London; The Cleveland Play House; Alliance Theatre; Playmakers Rep; Swine Palace; Neo-Futurists; Aurora Theatre; Centerstage; Crowded Fire and the C Venue at Fringe in Edinburgh; and has developed work with the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Baltic American Playwrights Conference (Hiiumaa, Estonia), Ars Nova, PlayPenn, Lark, PlayLabs, Asolo Rep, Goodspeed Opera, Weston Playhouse, Blank Theater, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Magic Theatre, and others. Mr. Daniels has developed new plays with many delightful playwrights including: Two-time Tony Award- winners Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann (Urinetown), and Trey Parker and Matt Stone (Book of Mormon); Pulitzer Prize Finalists Kristoffer Diaz & Steven Drukman; Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (“Glee,” “Big Love,” Spiderman), and Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (though he was dead at the time, so we needed assistance from John Cleese and Michael Palin). He has been named “One of the top fifteen up & coming artists in the U.S., whose work will be transforming America’s stages for decades to come,” and  “One Of 7 People Reshaping And Revitalizing The American Musical” by American Theatre Magazine. He’s been named “Best Director” repeatedly in Atlanta and the Bay Area.

DON KOT

Musical Director

DON KOT is Resident Music Director and Affiliate Artist at
Geva Theatre Center where he celebrates his fourteenth season!  Geva productions include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, All Your Questions Answered (world premiere), Next to NormalAvenue Q, CompanyThe Music ManFive Course LoveSweeney ToddCabaretUrinetownA Chorus LineCamelot1776A
Christmas Carol
Sister’s Christmas Catechism, Convenience and as part of the Festival of New Plays, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the WorldOne For My Babyright
next to me, Tomorrowland 
and An Evening with Mrs. Kasha Davis, International Celebrity Housewife.  He was also vocal coach and music arranger for The Odd
Couple, Informed Consent, You Can’t Take It With You, A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, The House in Hydesville, Our Town
and Inherit the Wind.  Mr. Kot has performed Off-Broadway at the 45 Bleecker Street Theatre, Laurie Beechman Theatre, and at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Other regional credits include The Best of Forbidden BroadwaySmokey Joe’s CaféLeader of the PackHonk!,and The Most Happy Fella. He has played for the national touring productions of Fosse, FootlooseFiddler on the RoofThe King and IMamma Mia and Hairspray.  Mr. Kot is the Coordinator of the Musical Theatre degree program at the State University of New York at Geneseo.

WENDY SEYB

Choreographer

WENDY SEYB creates stories for film, theatre and dance. Her vibrant work explores the humorous side of the human condition through story, comedy, and movement. Choreography credits include Rainforest Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall with Sting, Kevin Spacey, James Taylor and Renee Fleming; “The Pee Wee Herman Show” for Broadway and HBO, the Off-Broadway production of Click Clack Moo (Lortel nomination), Off-Broadway and International production of The Toxic Avenger Musical (Lortel, Dora and Callaway nominations) and the Off-Broadway/National Tour of Murder For Two. As a Director and Choreographer, Ms. Seyb’s credits include How You Look At It for the Sacramento Ballet; Onirique a cirque-style show (Big E Award winner for Direction); Birthday Sax for Ars Nova, and she directed the comedy web series “That Reminds Me….” Ms. Seyb has also helped create shows with Disney, Cartoon Network, Richard Frankel Productions, Nickelodeon, and SeaWorld. Her Narrative Dance Comedies have won awards, and been seen in short film form, spec commercials, music videos, and at esteemed NYC venues including Dance Theater Workshop, Joyce SoHo, and Baryshnikov Arts Center. She is currently working on a Dance Comedy Series. www.wendyseyb.com

MICHAEL RAIFORD

Scenic Designer

MICHAEL RAIFORD, a Scenic and Costume designer based in Austin, Texas, made his Geva Theatre Center debut during the 2012 season with The Book Club Play and also designed The 39 Steps and Informed Consent last season. He has designed 2O shows at Actors Theatre of Louisville including a dozen world premieres at The Humana Festival of New American Plays. Other regional credits include Cleveland Play House; Central City Opera; Kansas City Rep; The Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.; Opera Boston, The New Victory Theatre in NYC, South Coast Rep. and Playmakers Rep. In Austin he designed The Magic Flute and The Mozart Project for Ballet Austin; Rigoletto for Austin Lyric; Tesla and Big Love for the Rude Mechanical’s; 20 years and 100 productions for Zach. Recent Favorites include Ragtime, God of Carnage, Spring Awakening and Hairspray. Currently projects at Zach include the Premier of Mad, Beat, Hip and Gone by Steven Dietz.  In addition, Mr. Raiford works as a Creative Consultant in many fields including Architecture, Advertising and yes, even Marching Band and Drum Corps (Artistic Director of The Academy).   He received his M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin where he also taught design for ten years. He is a Member of United Scenic Artists.  To see more of his work visit: flickr.com/photos/michaelraiford/sets

JENNIFER CAPRIO

Costume Designer

JENNIFER CAPRIO returns to Geva Theatre Center where she previously designed The 39 Steps and Bad Dates. Broadway credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Off-Broadway credits include The Lion at Manhattan Theatre Club, Tail! Spin! starring Rachel Dratch at the Culture Project, Little Miss Sunshine at Second Stage, In Transit at Primary Stages (Lucille Lortel nomination), Fugitive Songs for Dreamlight Theatre Company, Modern & Post-Modern Living for LaMama Experimental Theatre Club, and the upcoming Little Children Dream of God at the Roundabout. Ms. Caprio has designed costumes for the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo.  International credits include The Collected Works of Billy the Kid at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and tours of The Great American Trailer Park Musical and “Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers.” Regional Credits include Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Boston, Opera Colorado, La Jolla Playhouse, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Play House, Westport Country Playhouse, Capital Repertory Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Hangar Theatre, Playmakers Repertory Theatre, among others. Ms. Caprio earned her B.F.A. at Ithaca College and her M.F.A. at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

BRIAN J. LILIENTHAL

Lighting Designer

BRIAN J. LILIENTHAL made his Geva Theatre Center debut in 2012 with The Book Club Play and also designed The 39 Steps and Informed Consent last season. New York credits include La Mama ETC, Cherry Lane and 29th Street Rep. Regional credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville (over 60 productions as Resident Designer), Milwaukee Rep, The Huntington Theatre Company, Playmakers Rep, Arizona Theatre Co, South Coast Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, Capital Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Arden Theatre Co, Merrimack Rep, Trinity Rep, The Kennedy Center, Theatre @ Boston Court, Perishable Theatre, Pig Iron Theatre, New Paradise Labs, amongst many.    Mr. Lilienthal has designed lighting for operas at Opera Bard Summerscape, Long Beach Opera and Portland Opera Repertory Theatre.  He has spent eight summers at the National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Theatre Center as a resident lighting designer. He is the recipient of the 2005 Ovation Award (LA) for lighting design.  Mr. Lilienthal holds an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts.  He is currently teaching lighting design at Tufts University. 

MATTHEW CALLAHAN

Sound Designer

MATTHEW CALLAHAN made his Geva Theatre Center debut in 2012 with The Book Club Play and also designed The 39 Steps and Informed Consent last season. He Served as the Resident Sound Designer at Actors Theatre of Louisville for seven seasons (2004-2011) and for more than 50 productions, including the world premieres of Bob, Elemeno Pea, Ground, Sirens, Wild Blessings, The Hard Weather Boating Party, Slasher, The End, Rock and Roll – The Reunion Tour, Dark Play – stories for boys, Great Falls, This Beautiful City, The Scene, The Unseen, Six Years, Pure Confidence and Hazard County. Recent regional credits include Comedy of Errors, Family Album (engineering), Animal Crackers at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; The Pavilion at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; An IlliadGood People, Mrs. Mannerly, Ghost Writer at Ensemble Theatre Company, as well as designing productions at Cleveland Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep., St. Louis Rep., Arizona Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Walnut St. Theatre, Prince Music Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre Company Garage and Studio. He served as the Resident Sound Designer for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference 2008 and 2009.

DAVE BOVA

Wig & Makeup Designer

JEAN GORDON RYON

Dramaturg

JEAN GORDON RYON serves as New Plays Coordinator at Geva Theatre Center where, among other duties, she produces the Regional Writers Showcase and the Young Writers Showcase. She was dramaturg for 1776, John Bull’s Other Island, That Was Then, Shear Madness, The Underpants, The Clean House, Almost Maine, The Music Man, Company, Perfect Wedding, The 39 Steps, Last Gas, Wait Until Dark and Geva’s current production of A Christmas Carol, and she has contributed dramaturgical research and written program articles for several other productions. Ms. Ryon holds a degree in drama from Tufts University and a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College. Her most recent directing credits in the community include Grace and Glorie, Master Class, Blithe Spirit, Pride’s Crossing, and The Gin Game for Blackfriars, The Chosen and The Immigrant for JCC’s CenterStage, Juno and the Peacock, Da, Translations, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Waiting for Godot, The Kings of the Kilburn High Road, Dancing at Lughnasa, Faith Healer, The Hostage, Love in the Title, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Dublin Carol, and A Moon for the Misbegotten for RCP’s Irish Players, and Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing for RCP’s Shakespeare Players. Ms. Ryon is also the Artistic Director of The Geriactors, a traveling troupe of mature actors. 

JENN LYONS

Stage Manager

JENN LYONS is a Rochester native happy to be back home and working at Geva.  National Tours include Mary Poppins, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella (starring Eartha Kitt), Showboat and The Who’s Tommy. New York credits include work at Roundabout Theatre and Circle Repertory Theater as well as the Broadway production of The Little Mermaid

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