LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Set for Cabrillo Music Theatre, 4/23-5/2

By: Mar. 16, 2010
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A tuneful, funny musical score meets a giant man-eating plant when Cabrillo Music Theatre's production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS devours the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, with a hit movie and a Broadway revival to its credit, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS takes root on Friday, April 23rd, 2010, and blossoms until Sunday, May 2nd. Locally produced exclusively for Southern California audiences, performances take place at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.

In this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies, a down-and out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination!

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS has book and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, the pair who went on to rejuvenate animated movies with their work on Disney's "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Aladdin." LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS bears their unique touch: a bright, colorful score, complemented by a hilarious story with slightly larger-than-life characters, all presented with tongue firmly "planted" in cheek. Songs include "Suddenly Seymour," "Somewhere That's Green," "Feed Me," and the title tune will leave audiences humming - those that survive the plant, that is!

"LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is a clever collaboration of songs and humor," says Carole W. Nussbaum, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cabrillo Music Theatre. "Audiences have been snapping their fingers to this music everywhere - Off-Broadway, on Broadway, and in the movies. Cabrillo Music Theatre is proud to bring another Kavli Theatre premiere to our audiences." Adds Nussbaum, "We've got the sets and costumes from the Broadway National Tour - and the plant from the local alien florist!"

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS stars Southern California theatre veterans Jim Holdridge (Seymour Krelborn), Callie Carson (Audrey), Gibby Brand (Mr. Mushnik), and Damon Kirsche (Orin Scrivello, D.D.S., and other roles).

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS performs April 23rd through May 2nd, and will be directed by Cabrillo Music Theatre's Artistic Director, Lewis Wilkenfeld. John Charron will choreograph, while Matthew Smedal musical directs and leads the Cabrillo Music Theatre Orchestra. LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is finger-snapping fun, but, with a touch of adult language and some "people vs. vegetation" violence, it may not be suitable for the very youngest family members.


Lewis Wilkenfeld (Artistic Director/Director) brings 30 years of theatre experience to his position as Artistic Director of Cabrillo Music Theatre in Thousand Oaks, CA. Under Lewis' leadership since 2006, Cabrillo Music Theatre was recently rewarded with 18 Ovation Award nominations, and six wins, the most of any theatre company in 2008. Lewis has directed thirteen CMT shows during the last decade, including recent productions of The King and I, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and The Music Man. His production of Bye Bye Birdie! was named Ventura County's Production Of The Year. Additionally, Lewis' work has won him a Drama Logue Award (The Wizard of Oz, starring Cathy Rigby), a Robby Award (Gypsy! at the Lawrence Welk Resort Theatre), and an AriZoni Award (Beauty and the Beast, Phoenix Theatre). Lewis' work has been featured in seven productions for the Musical Theatre Guild in Los Angeles, six for the Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido, as well as productions at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista, Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, the Norris Theatre in Rancho Palos Verdes, Utah Musical Theatre, and Theatre Under the Stars, in Houston, TX. Production experience includes Long Beach Civic Light Opera, California Musical Theatre, and his own Production Company, Can't Stand Still Productions.

Lewis' past experiences include casting for film and television, teaching audition and acting technique in Southern California and around the country, and working in the development of new musicals for future productions. As a representative of Cabrillo Music Theatre, Lewis sits on the Theatre Department Advisory Boards of California Lutheran University and Los Angeles Valley College. Lewis is member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers' Society, Actors' Equity Assn., and sits on committee of the National Alliance of Musical Theatre.

John Charron (Choreographer) Broadway and National Tour (Associate Choreographer) of Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby (Emmy Nomination, Tony Nomination Best Revival), National Tour Seussical the Musical. Regionally over 25 musicals including The Wizard of Oz (Drama Logue Award), Beehive (Drama Logue Award), Funny Girl and Gypsy! (Robby Award Nominees), Oklahoma!, Show Boat, The Music Man and Bye Bye Birdie at the Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido. Previous shows for Cabrillo Music Theatre include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Music Man, Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, Bye Bye Birdie and Gypsy! Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disney Seas are a few of the many theme parks for which John has choreographed. John also had the pleasure of directing and choreographing Ann-Margret's Here and Now, which recently toured the U.S. John has been a director/choreographer for Holland America Cruise Line for the past thirteen years with over 70 shows on the high seas.

Matthew Smedal (Music Director). Regional Music Direction: Singin' in the Rain (Ogunquit Playhouse), Jesus Christ Superstar (North Shore Music Theatre, IRNE nomination for "Best Music Director"), Jingle Bell Rock (Plan B Entertainment), The Wizard of Oz and Scrooge (West Virginia Public Theatre), Gypsy (w/ Kim Zimmer), Oklahoma! and 1776 (Augusta Barn Theatre), The Jungle Book Kids (Pittsburgh Musical Theater). Assoc. Music Direction/Conducting: Man of La Mancha (w/ Brent Spiner & Julia Migenes) (Reprise Theatre Company), The King and I (w/ Deborah Gibson) (Cabrillo Music Theatre). Assoc. Music Direction: Two by Two (w/ Jason Alexander, Faith Prince, Megan Hilty and Vickie Lewis), The Fantasticks (w/ Eric McCormack & Lucas Grabeel), Flora the Red Menace (w/ Eden Espinosa), Lil' Abner (w/ Cathy Rigby), Once on This Island, and Damn Yankees (all for Reprise Theatre Company), Guys and Dolls (Cabrillo Music Theatre). Orchestrations: Dakota Sky (Music and Lyrics by Kathleen Cahill and Deborah Wicks LaPuma), Silk Stockings (Additional Orch., Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter, New Book by Stuart Ross). Synth Programming: Tommy (w/ Alice Ripley) (Flicker House).


Jim Holdridge (Seymour). Jim just completed a run of the hit musical Life Could Be a Dream (Hudson Theater, with an Ovation Nomination - Best Featured Actor, LADCC Nominations - Best Ensemble & Best Production, LA Weekly Nominations - Musical Ensemble & Musical of the Year). Other LA credits include "Tobias" in Sweeney Todd (Musical Theatre West), productions at South Coast Repertory, the Zephyr Theater, and the LA Drama Critics Circle Award Winning Assassins (West Coast Ensemble). Recent readings include Modern Love the new Hall & Oats Musical. Regionally he has worked at St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Rep, The Goodspeed Opera House, and was a long time member of the hit show STOMP in New York and international tours, and Stomp Out Loud in Las Vegas.

Callie Carson (Audrey) is a graduate from AMDA in Los Angeles. She was last seen as
Maureen in RENT at Musical Theatre West, other credits include Jamie Lee in Scary Musical for Disney ASCAP Festival, Vicky Nichols in The Full Monty, Jesus Christ Superstar at SBCLO, and Maureen in RENT with Plan B Entertainment. T.V credits include a commercial for "Charter Communications" and Guest Star on Disney's "Wizards of Waverly Place".

Damon Kirsche (Orin, others) last appeared at Cabrillo Music Theatre as Lancelot in Camelot. Southland audiences have seen him recently as Curly in Oklahoma! (CLO-South Bay Cities) and at South Coast Repertory in the premiere of An Italian Straw Hat (Émile/Nisnardi) and in A Little Night Music (Carl Magnus). He appeared at McCoy & Rigby's La Mirada Theatre, both as Freddy in My Fair Lady and in the Sinatra tribute My Way, and at the Welk Resort, reprising his role in My Way and returning in a Bennett tribute, I Left My Heart. He has revived several works with LA's Reprise! series: She Loves Me (Steven Kodaly) and On the 20th Century (Bruce Granit) and appeared last season in their concert series honoring the music of "Rodgers & Hart & Hammerstein" at the El Portal Theatre. Last summer, Damon appeared as King Arthur in Camelot at Music Theatre of Wichita, where he'd previously played Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady and the title role in The Scarlet Pimpernel. Other credits include The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Prince DeLong) and Into the Woods (Rapunzel's Prince) at California Music Theatre, Show Boat (Ravenal) at Casa Mañana with the Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra, and in TheatreWorks' Merrily We Roll Along (Franklin Shepard). Damon originated the role Logos for Eric Whitacre's ground-breaking opera electronica, Paradise Lost. In concert, Damon has been a featured soloist at the Kennedy Center, NY's City Center, Weill Hall, the 92nd St Y, Lincoln Center, Stone Barns Center, the Berliner Dom and with the California Philharmonic. He is a proud member of L.A.'s Musical Theatre Guild and has presented many staged readings for Thousand Oaks audiences (appearing as Abner in Li'l Abner, Britt Craig in Parade, Woody in Finian's Rainbow and most recently as Byron Prong in Styne, Comden & Green's Fade Out/Fade In). Damon sings throughout Southern California with "Dean Mora and his Orchestra." He is featured on their CDs "Goblin Market" and "Devil's Serenade."

Gibby Brand (Mushnik) Broadway: "Cogsworth the Clock" Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Original company of Neil Simon's Rumors and Sondheim's Passion, the revivals of Little Me (with Jimmy Coco), Peter Pan (with Sandy Duncan). Regional: South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Goodspeed Opera House, Cincinnati Playhouse, St Louis Rep. As part of the first international exchange between the U.S. and the former Soiviet Union, he went with William Gibson's Rag Dolly. Locally: Big River (Mark Taper Forum), "Doc Baugh" Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Geffen with John Goodman), The Music Man (Hollywood Bowl with Eric McCormack), "Mr. Etches" Titanic (South Bay CLO), "Judge Wilson" 1776, "Mr Weiss" Flora The Red Menace. TV: Recurring "Judge McGough" on Ally Mcbeal, The Practice, Numb3rs (recurring), Parks and Recreation, Boston Legal, The West Wing, Law and Order, Judging Amy, Even Stevens. Film: Raise Your Voice "Choir Master" (with Hillary Duff), Auto Focus, Father of the Bride.


LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS will open on Friday, April 23rd, 2010 and run through Sunday, May 2nd. Performances are Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm. A post-show discussion with cast, staff and audience will follow the Saturday, April 24th, 2:00pm performance. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Box Office located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks or through any Ticketmaster location or by phone (800) 745-3000. For groups of 10 or more, please call Group Sales, Cabrillo Music Theatre at (805) 497-8613. Ticket prices range from $25-$55. For ticket and theatre information, call (805) 449-ARTS (2787).

CABRILLO MUSIC THEATRE's 2009-2010 season concludes with Rodgers & Hammerstein'S CINDERELLA (July 23-August 1, 2010).

CABRILLO MUSIC THEATRE performs exclusively at the Kavli Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Bank of America Performing Arts Center, at 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.

Cabrillo Music Theatre is the Ovation Award-winning Resident Musical Theatre Production Company to the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, and a non-profit theatre organization. For over three decades, Cabrillo has been enriching the cultural life of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties and the surrounding areas by providing an extraordinary performing arts experience through live, Broadway-quality productions of musical theatre. It is Cabrillo's mission to provide the highest quality musical experience, to foster educational opportunities, and to promote cultural and artistic enrichment to enhance the quality of life in Southern California. To this end, Cabrillo Music Theatre has established the ADOPT-A-SCHOOL, ADOPT-A-SENIOR, PET (Project Entertainment Troops) OUTREACH programs. Since the inceptions of these programs in 2005, over 22,000 underserved children, in-need seniors, and active military have enjoyed Cabrillo Music Theatre's productions at no charge. With the ADOPT-A-SCHOOL, ADOPT-A-SENIOR, and PET programs, Cabrillo makes live theatre accessible to children, seniors, and active military members who otherwise may never have the opportunity to experience a live musical theatre performance. Cabrillo's Animal Rescue OUTREACH program, instituted during last summer's production of CATS, facilitates the placement of homeless dogs and cats. For more information about Cabrillo Music Theatre's OUTREACH programs, contact Carole W. Nussbaum, President/Chief Executive Officer at (805) 497-8613.


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