LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Invades New Village Arts this Summer

New Village Arts is excited to announce the final production of its eighteenth season: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. NVA's Director of Connectivity and Artistic Associate AJ Knox will direct, with music direction by Benjamin Goniea, and choreography by Kevin "Blax" Burroughs.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, the classic horror-comedy-rock-musical, tells the story of down-on-his-luck Seymour Krelborn, who finds a strange and unusual plant during an eclipse and believes it to be his opportunity to escape his unhappy life in rundown Skid Row. His co-worker (and object of his affection) Audrey is dealing with her own problems, and dreams of going "somewhere that's green." When the bizarre plant begins to draw in the customers, Seymour and Audrey's fortunes begin to change; what neither of them realize, however, is that this strange and unusual plant is actually a smooth-talking, man-eating monster bent on world domination... LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is one of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows, and has won the Drama Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Musical.

AJ Knox returns to direct after having recently directed the critically-acclaimed world premiere of THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS, and last season, AVENUE Q (2018 Craig Noel Award Nominee: Outstanding Direction of a Musical and Outstanding Resident Musical). Knox will direct with an eye toward the musical's roots as a cult classic Roger Corman B Movie, taking inspiration from such films as The Day of the Triffids, Devil Girl from Mars, Forbidden Planet, and Plan 9 from Outer Space. "I am looking forward to directing LITTLE SHOP as a celebration of classic B sci-fi horror films," says Knox, "and we have some truly exciting ideas to make the show as funny, campy, and frightening as it should be, while keeping it new and exciting for audiences who are already very familiar with the show." NVA's Executive Artistic Director, Kristianne Kurner, adds, "This is the classic LITTLE SHOP you know and love, but with some new, adventurous dimensions and ideas behind it that make it perfect for NVA." Benjamin Goniea will return to Music Direct, having recently served as Music Director for SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE. Goniea has previously worked with NVA on OKLAHOMA! and several smaller projects. Kevin "Blax" Burroughs (SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE) makes his choreography debut with this production as well.

The cast features an ensemble of familiar NVA performers, including: Cashae Monya as Audrey (Monya was nominated for a San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical for her previous collaboration with Knox, AVENUE Q); Sittichai Chaiyahat as Seymour (MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY and LEGALLY BLONDE); Melissa Fernandes as Mushnik (SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, AVENUE Q, BIG RIVER, and many others); Eboni Muse as The Plant (Muse won a 2018 Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical for her role in SDMT's HAIRSPRAY); Philip David Black as Orin Scrivello DDS and a bevy of other characters (SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE); Natasha Baenisch as Crystal (SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE); Chris Bona as Ronnette (AVENUE Q, OKLAHOMA!); Patricia Jewel makes her NVA debut as Chiffon. They are joined by NVA Artistic Associate Milena (Sellers) Phillips (Assistant Director and Property Designer), Violet Ceja (Sound Designer), David Romero (Lighting Designer), Doug Cumming (Scenic Designer), Madison Mellon (Puppet Designer), Amanda Quivey (Costume Designer), and Missy Bradstreet (Wigs Designer). Rosalee Barrientos will serve as Stage Manager for this production.

The production will run from May 24 to August 4, 2019.

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