Friday, April 17 at 8pm (Pre-show reception at 7pm)
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Saturday, April 18 at 8pm
OPENING NIGHT PARTY!
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Friday, April 24 at 8pm
STUDENT NIGHT AT MTC MAINSTAGE!
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The Hit Rock Musical Comedy!
April 17 - May 3, 2015
Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm & 8pm, Sundays at 2pm
at THE NEW MTC
509 Westport Avenue (Route 1) in Norwalk
(Click here for directions)
Note: This production contains adult language and horror elements, and is suggested for children 11 and up. Children under 6 will not be admitted.
MTC MAINSTAGE presents
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Book and Lyrics by HOWARD ASHMAN
Music by ALAN MENKEN
Based on the film by Roger Corman
Screenplay by Charles Griffith
with ELISSA DeMARIA , ANTHONY DiCOSTANZO,
KRISTIAN ESPIRITU, INUKA IVASKA,
TONY LAWSON, GABRIELLE LEE,
PETER McCLUNG and LOU URSONE
Audrey II Puppeteer WILL STRONG
Vocal Arrangements by ROBERT BILLIG
Orchestrations by ROBERT MERKIN
Costume Design by DIANE VANDERKROEF
Set Design by DAVID HEUVELMAN
Lighting Design by TYLER H. FIRST
Stage Managed by JIM SCHILLING
Choreography by STEVEN MIDURA
Musical Direction by THOMAS MARTIN CONROY
Directed by KEVIN CONNORS
About "Little Shop of Horrors"
The botanical bloodlust musical comedy about a hapless florist shop worker, the girl of his dreams and one very voracious plant.
A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatregoers for over thirty years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.
The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names "Audrey II" -- after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it... blood! Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II's out of this world origins and intent towards global domination!
"Little Shop of Horrors" Lights Up MTC MainStage in Norwalk
usic Theatre of Connecticut MainStage, Fairfield County's award-winning professional theatre company, concludes its 2014/2015 season with "Little Shop of Horrors" the hit rock musical comedy about a hapless florist shop worker, the girl of his dreams and one very voracious plant. With book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken. Performances are April 17-May 3, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm and 8pm, Sundays at 2pm, at The Melissa & Doug Theatre at The New MTC, 509 Westport Avenue (behind the Jones New York and Nine West Outlet) in Norwalk, CT. Tickets range from $30-$50 ($5 discount for seniors/students) and are available by calling 203.454.3883 or visiting www.musictheatreofct.com
"Little Shop of Horrors" is based on the cult classic film directed by Roger Corman, with a screenplay by Charles Griffith, and was turned into a musical by Howard Ashman (book and lyrics) and Alan Menken (music). Ashman and Menken are also the musical team who wrote Disney's "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin." The musical premiered Off-Off-Broadway in 1982 before moving to the Orpheum Theatre Off-Broadway, where it had a five-year run, winning several awards including the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical and the Outer Critics Circle Award.
MTC's professional Equity cast includes Fairfield native Elissa DeMaria (Audrey), who appeared as Natalie in the MTC MainStage production of "Next to Normal" as Natalie, as well as "Shout!" on the Norwegian Jade throughout Europe, "The Marvelous Wonderettes," "Seussical," "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "The Light in the Piazza." Norwalk native Anthony DiCostanzo (Seymour) has appeared in "Vieux Carre," "A Soft Murder," "Elegies" and "A Proper Place." He holds a BFA in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory and is creative director of Haus Cat, an art’s collaborative. Kristian Espiritu (Crystal), appeared in the critically-acclaimed hit "Here Lies Love" at The Public Theater, as well as "Lesbian Love Octagon" at the Kraine Theater, "Junie B. Jones" at TWUSA and on the Disney Cruise Lines. Inuka Ivaska (Chiffon) has appeared in "Jerry’s Girls," "Dreamgirls," "Hair," "Hairspray" and "Flashback" as Tina Turner and Diana Ross. Tony Lawson (Orin and Others) appeared in the MTC MainStage productions of "The Fantasticks" as El Gallo, Pete in "Pete 'n' Keely," on Broadway in "Les Miserables," and on the national tour of Irving Berlin’s "White Christmas" and Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." Gabrielle Lee (Ronette) has appeared in national and European tours, Off-Broadway and in regional theater productions including "Dreamgirls," "Smokey Joe’s Cafe," "Showboat," "Ain’t Misbehavin'" and "My Fair Lady." She has performed with Natalie Cole, Steely Dan, Michael Bolton, Marvin Hamlish and Harry Belafonte, and appeared as a guest performer of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Peter McClung (Audrey II) has appeared as Amos in "Chicago," as the title role in "Sweeney Todd" and was a member of the political satire group The Capitol Steps. Stamford native Lou Ursone (Musknik) appeared in the MTC MainStage as Hucklebee in "The Fantasticks." Other favorite roles include Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof", John Adams in "1776", and Zaza/Albin in "La Cage aux Folles". His television work includes "Loving," "Ryan’s Hope," "All My Children," "One Life to Live," "Rescue 911" and "Unsolved Mysteries."
"Little Shop of Horrors" is directed by MTC co-founder and Executive Artistic Director Kevin Connors. The design team includes set design by David Huevelman, lighting by Tyler H. First, costumes by Diane Vanderkroef, choreography by Steven Midura and musical direction by Thomas Martin Conroy. The production is stage managed by Jim Schilling.
"Little Shop of Horrors" is sponsored in part by Shoff Darby Insurance Agency, and is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International. MTC is proud to partner again this season with Rizzuto's Wood-Fired Kitchen and Bar of Westport, offering a special discount to "Little Shop of Horrors" ticket holders (see ticket for details).
Elissa DeMaria (Audrey) is overjoyed to return to Music Theatre of Connecticut after having the privilege of playing Natalie in Next to Normal. Most recently, Elissa was onboard the Norwegian Jade in Shout! (Red Girl) among the ship’s other shows traveling Europe. Prior to that, she was seen in The Marvelous Wonderettes (Swing, all performed), Seussical (Gertrude), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Miss Flannery), The Light in the Piazza (Tour Guide, Franca U/S) among many others! BFA Point Park. Proud member of AEA. Many thanks to Kevin, Jimmy and the team. For my mom.
Anthony DiCostanzo (Seymour) Favorite roles Collegiate/ Regional include: Writer (Vieux Carre), Felipe (A Soft Murder), Miles (Elegies), Lord Brockelhurst (A Proper Place). Anthony holds a BFA in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory, and is the proud creative director of Haus Cat- an art’s collaborative. Thanks to Debbie Cutuli, Mom, Dad, and Peaches the world’s most adorable cat. @anthonydivastanzo www.hauscatstyle.com
Kristian Espiritu (Crystal) is happy to be making her MTC debut in Little Shop! Off-Broadway/NYC: Here Lies Love as Ensemble/Soloist/Interviewer (The Public Theater), Lesbian Love Octagon as Darla (Kraine Theater). Other credits include Lucille in Junie B. Jones (TWUSA) and Disney Cruise Line. Thanks and love to Mom and Melissa.
Inuka Ivaska (Chiffon) is thrilled to be a part of this production of Little Shop of Horrors at MTC MainStage. A proud AEA member, and a graduate of Duquesne University, her previous roles include: Jerry’s Girls (Leslie Uggams), Dreamgirls (Michelle Morris), Smokey Joe’s Café (Brenda Braxton), Hair (Dionne), Hairspray (Little Inez), The Winter Wonderettes (Cindy Lou) and Flashback (Tina Turner/Diana Ross). She has also traveled the world, and performed in various countries with Royal Caribbean’s Luxury Line. Inuka would like to thank her family, husband William, and daughter Mahogany for their unconditional love and support.
Tony Lawson (Orin, Bernstein, Luce, Snip and Everyone Else) was last seen in MTC’s The Fantasticks as the narrator, El Gallo. He recently played Lank Hawkins in Crazy for You at the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, FL. Last year he sang the role of Tito Merelli in the Fulton theatre’s Lend Me a Tenor, Richard Henry Lee in 1776 for the historic Cape Playhouse and Teen Angel for the North Shore Music Theatre’s Grease. Over the holidays, Tony and his wife, Krista Severeid, sang the leads in White Christmas for the Alhambra Theatre in Jacksonville, FL. He sends Papa love to Krista, who is now 23 weeks pregnant with their new baby boy!
Gabrielle Lee (Ronette) actress, performer, worldwide guest entertainer - BFA graduate of the University of Memphis, William Esper Studio For Actors and most recently is a Performance and Cabaret Fellows Award Recipient and guest performer of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Leading roles in Nat’l and European tours, Off-Broadway and in Regional Theaters across the U.S. include performances in Dreamgirls, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, One Mo Time, Showboat, Man of La Mancha, Ain’t Misbehavin, My Fair Lady, Once On This Island, Beehive and more. Special appearance performances/backing vocals for: Natalie Cole, Steely Dan, Michael Bolton, Marvin Hamlish and friends-with the New York Pops Orchestras and featured backing vocalist for Harry Belafonte. Gabrielle heads performances and campaigns for BCEF/Aids, SAG Foundation BookPals Literacy Program, entertaining troops and veterans nationwide, Co-Founder for ICCV Haiti Scholarship Fund; and Entertainment Ambassador for Make-A-Wish Foundation International. Proud member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA; watersports, Bikram Yoga and God! www.gabriellelee.com
Peter McClung (Audrey II) is thrilled about his first show here at MTC. This is Peter’s third visit to Little Shop of Horrors in this area. He has performed at various theatres in the area to include The John Engeman, The Fulton and White Plains Performing Arts Center. This summer he will be heading north to be at Maine State Musical Theatre performing in the classic The Music Man. For several years he was a member of the political satire group The Capitol Steps. Favorite roles include Charlie in August: Osage County, Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd, Charlie Anderson in Shenadoah, Amos in Chicago, Lenny in Of Mice and Men, The Proprietor in Assassins and Lazar in Fiddler on the Roof. A thank you to Kevin and the team here at MTC for this wonderful opportunity. Much love to Paulette and the girls. Thank you for supporting live arts and this incredible new theatre.
Lou Ursone (Musknik) is thrilled to be back at MTC and in this glorious new theatre. He appeared here last season as Hucklebee in The Fantasticks. Locally, he has been seen at The Kweskin Theatre as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, John Adams in 1776 and as Zaza/Albin in La Cage aux Folles. He has also played in many Mulberry Street productions, including the musical version he wrote: A Merry Mulberry Street Musical. Favorite roles: The Duke in Big River (STONC), Mack Sennett in Mack and Mabel, Michael in I Do, I Do, Buddy in Follies, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls and Littlechap in Stop The World. He has performed at The Goodspeed Opera House, toured extensively and has appeared in numerous films, industrial films, commercials and television, including a recurring role on ABC-TV’s Loving. He also appeared on Ryan’s Hope, All My Children, One Life to Live with additional principal work on Rescue 911 and Unsolved Mysteries. Lou was recognized as Connecticut Arts Administrator of the Year in 2008 as Executive Director of Curtain Call, Inc. Thanks, Jan, for all your love and support!
Kevin Connors (Director, Executive Artistic Director & Co-Founder) Professional musical theatre composer and director for over 30 years and recipient of the Tom Killen Award for Outstanding Contribution to Connecticut Professional Theatre by the Connecticut Critics’ Circle, as well as a special citation from The Connecticut State Legislature and Governor Dannel Malloy. Off-Broadway credits include Prime Time Prophet, Jukebox Saturday Night, The Abandoned Loves of Frederick R., Life Anonymous, Lover:The Valentino Musical, Babes Off Broadway, Saloon and Suzy Q. Connecticut directing credits include The Fantasticks, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Babes in Toyland, Bah Humbug! (all at Stamford’s Rich Forum); Grand Re-Opening of the Palace Theatre starring Skitch Henderson, Louise Pitre, James Naughton and Joan Rivers; Baby (Polka Dot Playhouse), Christopher Columbus and Operetta in Red, White and Blue (New England Lyric Operetta). Mr. Connors began his career as a performer touring his own act with Bob Hope, Henny Youngman and Johnny Mathis, and his debut CD—The Things We Never Say—was released in October 2000. In 1987, he co-founded Music Theatre of Connecticut with Jim Schilling, and has since directed more than 30 Equity MTC MainStage productions including Next to Normal (Best Musical and Best Director Nominee), Yours, Anne (Best Musical Nominee), It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Moss Hart Award Winner), A Little Night Music, Edges, john & jen, Doubt, My Way: The Music of Frank Sinatra and The Last 5 Years; as well as writing original music and lyrics for more than 10 MTC children’s musicals. His latest work, Mothers and Sons (with playwright Joe Landry) had its critically-acclaimed World Premiere on the MTC Mainstage in January 2009 and is currently in development for Off-Broadway. He has served as Adjunct Professor of Musical Theatre at The Hartt School of Music/University of Hartford, Sacred Heart University, the University of Bridgeport, and at Musical Theatre Works in NYC. He has created many of MTC’s educational programs including the nationally-recognized College-Bound in the Performing Arts, which he now presents at theatre schools throughout the country. Kevin is a proud member of AEA, ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild. www.kevconnors.com
Thomas Martin Conroy (Musical Director) Dr. Thomas Conroy works as a music director as well as an actor in New York City and in regional theaters around the country. He toured (as an actor/singer/dancer) nationally with Grease, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Crazy For You and Cabaret. He sang back-up for Bernadette Peters and toured with the Paris Lido in a specialty act that followed the great Phyllis Diller. Tom earned his doctor of musical arts in composition at Rice University. Following that, he taught harmony, musicianship, and counterpoint at Texas A & M University, the University of Houston, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Following a course of reading the Great Books at St. John’s College Santa Fe, Tom spent a year teaching introduction to philosophy, philosophy of religion, and introduction to ethics at Ivy Tech Community College in Muncie, Indiana where he maintains an historic home. Recent composition performances include his homage to choral music teachers and conductors: This is Why I Sing, which was premiered by the Houston Chamber Choir and has been featured on NPR; and Searching for Spinoza, a two-act musical drama, premiered by the opera department at UNC Chapel Hill. The newest works in his catalog include The Brodie Set, a song cycle based on Muriel Spark’s novella, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Necklace, a one-act chamber opera based on Guy de Maupassant’s short story. Following Little Shop of Horrors, he will music direct Into the Woods at Seacoast Repertory Theater in Portsmouth, NH and Xanadu at the Arts Center in Hilton Head, SC.