Ravenous plant in “Little Shop of Horrors” threatens Pittsfield with deadly laughter

BOSLittleSHop

Clever, campy and a hoot from beginning to end, what’s not to like about  Little Shop of Horrors. Why even the original movie starring Jack Nicholson is still  guaranteed to elicit the kind of old fashioned yucks you haven’t enjoyed in a long time.

(Little Shop of Horrors has opened, read our review .)

And with the casting just announced by the Berkshire Theatre Group, their upcoming production seems determined to mine the phantastic horror musical for even more merriment. After all, how do you keep a (ahem!)  straight face with the voice of Broadway actress, Bryonha Parham (RagtimeAfter Midnight) and lip-syncing Drag Queen, Taurean Everett, bringing Audrey II to life. Little Shop of Horrors runs at The Colonial Theatre from Wednesday, July 6 through Saturday, July 23, 2016..

Director Ethan Heard  (BTG: Bells Are Ringing, A Little Night Music, Cat and The Canary) says, “My collaborators and I knew we wanted to find a fresh way to manifest Audrey II, in all her fun and terrifying glory. We’ve decided to bring the infamous plant to life, not with a puppet, but with a fabulous, lip-syncing drag queen onstage (Taurean Everett) and a powerhouse, female, actor-singer offstage (Bryonha Parham). Designed by Miodrag Guberinic, who has crafted eye-popping window displays for Bergdoorf Goodman and stunning costumes for Madonna, our Audrey II will be more magical, thrilling, and hilarious than ever. Fashion, camp, and ferocity combine to embody Seymour’s wildest dreams…and nightmares.”

The Little Shop of Horrors cast also features Stanley Bahorek as Seymour (Broadway:The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Amazing Grace), Lindsay Nicole Chambers as Audrey (Broadway: Lysistrata JonesLegally BlondeHairspray), Alia Hodge as Chiffon (Regional Theatre: Dreamgirls), James Ludwig as Orin (Broadway: SpamalotLittle Shop of Horrors; BTG: Birthday Boy, Bells Are Ringing), Wonu Ogunfowora as Crystal (Second National/International Tour of Sister Act: The Musical)  Ron Orbach as Mushnik (Broadway: Laughter on the 23rd, Chicago), and Kay Trinidad as Ronnette (Broadway: The Little Mermaid).

Now, just in case you have been living on another planet somewhere, here’s a primer on Little Shop.

Seymour Krelborn, a timid, poor floral assistant, lives downtown on Skid Row. Constantly berated by his boss, Mr. Mushnik, and longing to be noticed by his beautifully flawed co-worker, Audrey, Seymour serendipitously discovers a mysterious plant in town. Aptly naming it the Audrey II, Seymour takes the plant back to his run-down flower shop. Suddenly Seymour’s life is filled with recognition and riches, all thanks to the Audrey II. Unfortunately, the plant has an unconventional thirst for something other than water. Seymour is faced with the tough decision of giving into the lewd Audrey II’s demands and continuing down the path to success, or returning back to his simple life. Hit-filled and hair-raising, ludicrous laughs unfold in this unconventional, killer comedy musical.

Little Shop of Horrors comes with some pretty nifty credentials, too. It won The Drama Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award-winning award as the best rock, horror, musical comedy,, Little Shop has music by Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Tony Award-winners Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin).

unnamed.jpg

Little Shop of Horrors
book and lyrics by Howard Ashman
music by Alan Menken

directed by Ethan Heard
choreography by Parker Esse
musical direction by Rick Bertone

at The Colonial Theatre
BTG’s Pittsfield Campus, 111 South Street

Previews: Wednesday, July 6 through Friday, July 8
Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, July 9 at 8pm
Talkback: Monday, July 11 after 7pm performance
Closing: Saturday, July 23 at 8pm
Tickets: Preview: $55 • Opening Night: $35-$75 (includes post-show dance party with cast)

Tickets: A: $65 B: $50 C: $25
Sponsored by: Country Curtains and The Red Lion Inn, Greylock Federal Credit Union and Greylock Insurance Agency

Little Shop of Horrors Cast:
Audrey: Lindsay Nicole Chambers
Audrey II (voice): Bryonha Parham
Audrey II (plant): Taurean Everett
Chiffon: Alia Hodge
Crystal: Wonu Ogunfowora
Mushnik: Ron Orbach
Orin: James Ludwig
Ronnette: Kay Trinidad
Seymour: Stanley Bahorek

Stanley Bahorek Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Amazing Grace, February House (The Public), Queen of the Mist, See Rock City (Transport Group), Inventing Avi (Abingdon), The Explorers Club (MTC), Little Me (Encores!). He has appeared in over twenty new plays and musicals including Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville for which he is nominated for a 2016 Helen Hayes Award, and Nerds: the musical playing Bill Gates for which he was nominated for a Barrymore Award. Other favorites: Mozart in Amadeus (The Alley Theatre, Houston), Candide in Candide (The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle), and Tom Sawyer in the DeafWest production of Big River. He can be heard on the original cast recordings of Amazing Grace, See Rock City, Queen of the Mist, Honk!, and February House. TV/Film: HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Law and Order: CI. As a producer, writer and director he has helped to create three films: Sent By Hand, Sign, and Honey We’re Home. Through TDF’s Theatre Accessibility Program he teaches classes to Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing high school students in the NYC area. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he is a current master’s degree candidate in arts administration at Baruch College in NYC. His first acting role was opposite Lindsay Chambers (“Audrey”) in their middle school production of Anniewww.stanleybahorek.com @stanleybahorek

Lindsay Nicole Chambers was most recently seen touring the country as Lauren in the National Tour of Kinky Boots. See her online as Gail Liner in Submissions Only. Broadway: Lysistrata Jones (Robin), Legally Blonde (swing, u/s Serena, Enid, Kate/Chutney), Hairspray (Tammy, u/s Penny, Female Authority Figure). National Tour: Kinky Boots (Lauren), Elf (Jovie), Hairpspray (swing, u/s Penny, Female Authority Figure). Off Broadway: Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man (Robyn), Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking (various theater legends),Triassic Parq (Velociraptor of Science). Other: All Shook Up (Natalie/Ed), various commercials and voice overs including Grand Theft Auto 5. Tweet her @heyitslnc and see tons of pictures of her cats on Instagram @heyitslnc. www.lindsaynicolechambers.com

Taurean Everett Broadway: Mamma Mia! (Eddie). National Tour: Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Jimmy), Guys and Dolls (Havana Specialty)Regional: Guys and Dolls Concert (Carnegie Hall), Can-Can, Damn Yankees, Curtains, Peter Pan (Paper Mill Playhouse), CATS (Plato/Macavity), HairsprayA Chorus Line (Music Theater of Wichita). Facebook/Instagram: @taureanje

Alia Hodge Regional Theatre: Dreamgirls at North Shore Music Theatre, Show Boat at Westchester Broadway Theatre, The Color Purple at Speakeasy Stage Company. Excited new member of AEA! Alia graduated The Boston Conservatory, where she graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre in May 2015.

James Ludwig BTG: Birthday Boy and Bells Are Ringing. Recent credits include: Broadway: Spamalot (Original Cast), Little Shop of Horrors. Off Broadway: Two Point Oh, Blue Man Group, Bubbly Black Girl… (Playwrights Horizons), De La Guardajohn & jen (Original Cast); Tours: Spamalot (Las Vegas), 101 Dalmatians(1st Nat’l); Regional: W.H.A.T.: Period of Adjustment; Baltimore CenterStage: Raisin Cycle; George Street: God of CarnageCtrl+Alt+Delete; Arena Stage: A Man’s a Man; McCarter: Christmas Carol; Theatre Aspen: The Full Monty.  Film/TV: News to MeLipstick JungleChappelle’s ShowGhost Town. James owns Back40 Films, which produces the wildly popular show The Happy Hour Guys. Education: BA, U of M (Go Blue!), MFA, U of Washington. Proud Actors’ Equity Member & National Councillor – follow @JimmyLudwigNYC. Best gig ever: Husband to KB.

Wonu Ogunfowora Past theatre credits include the Second National/International Tour of Sister Act: The Musical, as well as regional productions at Maine State Music Theatre and North Shore Music TheatreAdditional regional credits include Hairspray, All Shook Up, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, among many others.

Ron Orbach Broadway: Laughter on the 23rd, Chicago (1998 Jeff Award) Dance of the Vampires, Never Gonna DanceSoul Doctor. Off-Broadway: Harry Chaplin: Lies and Legends (Equity Card, 1983), Hotel Suite (Roundabout), The God Committee(The Lambs). Regional: All The Days (McCarter Theatre); A Comedy of Tenors(Cleveland Playhouse/McCarter), The Twenty-Seventh Man (Old Globe), A Midsummers Night’s Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 2012 Jeff Nomination), Fiddler on the Roof (Sacramento Music Circus); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Denver Center), Enter Laughing (Berkshire Theater Festival), Moonlight and Magnolias (World Premiere, Goodman). Film: Clueless (DMV Tester). Recent TV: Girls. Mr. Orbach is also an acting coach and director who resides in Jamestown, NY, with his beloved wife, Kathleen Eads.

Bryonha Parham was last seen on Broadway in the saucy jazz trio of the 2014 Tony-winning After MidnightOther Broadway credits include: the 2012 Tony Award winning Best Revival, The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (Serena), Ragtime (Sarah’s Friend)Off Broadway/NY: NY Philharmonic’s Showboat, NY Philharmonic’s Sweeney Todd (Beggar Woman) , Ragtime at Lincoln Center, Bull Durham. World Premier: Prince of Broadway (Tokyo Orb). Regional: Bernstein’s MASS with The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (American Repertory Theatre), Ragtime (Kennedy Center), Civil War (NETworks), HAIR (Sacramento Music Circus), Dreamgirls (Effie White at North Shore Music Theatre, Fulton Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Mason Street Warehouse), Once On This Island (Coterie Theatre). Television: Showboat LIVE at Lincoln Center for PBS, Sweeney Todd Live at Lincoln Center for PBS (Emmy Nominated), 66th/68th Annual Tony AwardsThe Today Show. Bryonha is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. She received her training at Illinois Wesleyan University and holds a BFA in Music Theatre. Twitter: @BryonhaMarie


Kay Trinidad Broadway: The Little Mermaid (Aquata/Original Broadway Cast). Off-Broadway: bare: A Pop Opera (Diane/Original NY Cast), Roar of the Greasepaint (York Theatre). Regional: Beauty and the Beast (Silly Girl/The MUNY), Waterfall (The 5th Avenue Theatre/Pasadena Playhouse), Allegiance (Wendy/The Old Globe), Bye Bye Birdie (Alice/Casa Mañana), “The Children of Eden Concert” (Aysha/The Kennedy Center), The King And I (Tuptim/Maltz Jupiter/MT Wichita), Seussical (Bird Girl/Tour), The Addams Family (Ancestor/The MUNY). www.kaytrinidad.com

For more information about Berkshire Theatre Group and our upcoming season, please visit www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s