New Village Arts Will Present LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
New Village Arts announces a change in programming for its eighteenth season. NVA had previously announced a summer production of the West Coast premiere of BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE, but due to staffing changes and material challenges, NVA has made the difficult decision to cancel the production. NVA's Executive Artistic Director, Kristianne Kurner, says, "All of us love BELLA, but we want to be sure we produce it when we are confident that we can put our best minds together with enough time for rehearsal to be successful."
After careful consideration, NVA is excited to announce the final production of its eighteenth season: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. This production will retain much of the cast and creative ensemble behind BELLA. NVA's Director of Connectivity, AJ Knox will direct, with music direction by Benjamin Goniea, and choreography by Kevin "Blax" Burroughs. NVA's Artistic Associate Tony Houck will serve as Artistic Director to the production.
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 Audrey is also dealing with her own problems, and dreams of going "somewhere that's green." What neither of them realize, however, is that this strange and unusual plant is actually an animated, 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, who was nominated for a San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for his direction of last season's AVENUE Q, 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 (who is also a film professor), "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 includes Cashae Monya as Audrey (Monya is 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 (returning to the NVA stage after acclaimed roles in MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY and LEGALLY BLONDE), Melissa Fernandes as Mushnik (Fernandes is no stranger to NVA audiences, having appeared in SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, AVENUE Q, and many others), and Philip David Black as Orin Scrivello DDS and a bevy of other characters (Black is currently making his NVA debut in SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE). They are joined by other returning NVA performers Eboni Muse (SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, BUDDY - THE Buddy Holly STORY) and Kyle Leatherbury (SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE). They are joined by Milena (Sellers) Phillips (Property Designer), Violet Ceja (Sound Designer), David Romero (Lighting Designer), and Keira McGee (Costume Designer).
The remainder of the cast and creative ensemble will be announced soon.
The production will run from May 24 to August 4, 2019.