Olney Theatre Center continues its 2012 season with the hit musical, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS tonight, August 1 to August 26, 2012.
Little Shop of Horrors, composed by Alan Menken and written by Howard Ashman, is about a hapless florist shop worker, Seymour, who finds and raises a mysterious, blood-thirsty plant that brings the florist attention from everyone, including his crush Audrey.
The musical is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Roger Corman, and includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, "Skid Row (Downtown)", "Somewhere That's Green", and "Suddenly, Seymour." An eight-time Oscar© winner, Mr. Menken was the composer for Newsies, which recently won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical, Score, and Sister Act which completes its Broadway run August 26.
The characters of Skid Row are lead by James Gardiner as Seymour. Mr. Gardiner most recently captivated Olney Theatre Center audiences as Snoopy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown earlier this season. He is regular in the DC-Area and has worked at many area theatres including Signature Theatre, Folger Theatre, Arena Stage, Wolly Mammoth, Round House Theatre, Studio Theatre, The Kennedy Center and Everyman Theatre.
Carolyn Agan makes her Olney Theatre Center debut as Audrey. Ms. Agan was in the National Tour of The Phantom Tollbooth and recently appeared in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Two Gents: the Rock Opera. She has also worked with Ford’s Theatre, Theatre J, The Keegan Theatre, Adventure Theatre, and Washington Savoyards.
Broadway veteran and Helen Hayes Award-nominated actor Bobby Smith returns to Olney Theatre Center in the role of Orin, the dentist everyone loves to hate. Mr. Smith’s New York credits include Crazy for You, the original cast of Forever Plaid, The World Goes ‘Round, and the revival of George Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing. Mr. Smith has worked with a number of DC-area theatres including The Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre, Studio 2ndStage, Ford’s Theatre, Round House Theatre, MetroStage, and Signature Theatre. Audiences will recognize him from his Helen Hayes Award-nominated performances in Olney Theatre Center’s Annie and The Sound of Music and his most recent role as James Wilson in Ford Theatre’s 1776.
Baritone Ethan Watermeier plays Mushnik. Mr. Watermeir appeared as Javet in the Broadway National Tour of Les Misérables. Winner of the 2002 Kurt Weill International Competition, he has worked with the Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Aspen Music Festival, Urban Arias (DC), Shakespeare Theatre Company, Bailiwick Repertory, and Little Theatre on the Square.
Kara-Tameika Watkins and Shaunte Tabb return to Olney Theatre Center as the singing street urchins Chiffon and Crystal. Ms. Watkins and Ms. Tabb are joined by Leayne Freeman as Ronnette, who is making her Olney Theatre Center debut.
The Little Shop of Horrors cast also features Tina Ghandchilar, Matthew Schleigh, Russell Sunday and Stephawn Stephens as the voice of Audrey II. Erik Brooks is the puppeteer for Audrey II.
“It's my hope to strip away some of the reputation Little of Shop Horrors has acquired over the years as a campy spoof, or a silly kiddie show,” says director Mark Waldrop. “People who think they know this show will not only get the laughs they expect, but may also be surprised at its depth and insight into human nature.”