Foothill Music Theatre to Present LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, 2/20-3/9

Multi-award winning Foothill Music Theatre presents the rock musical comedy LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS with music by Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, in which a down-and out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving. LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, directed by Milissa Carey, with musical direction by Dolores Duran-Cefalu, and choreography by Amanda Folena, plays February 20 - March 9 in the Lohman Theatre, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Rd., Los Altos Hills. The public may purchase tickets ($10 - $28) online at or by calling (650) 949-7360.

Released in 1960, Roger Corman's comedy-horror film LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS was shot in two days using sets that had been left standing from a previous production. Featuring little-known actor Jack Nicholson, the film was not initially a commercial success. However, it slowly gained a cult following, and in 1982, was adapted for the stage by then-unknown Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. The musical version reduced the cast, simplified the story, and brought a sense of farce and fun to LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. It also introduced three new characters - a Greek chorus of ever-present Motown-style divas who provided both the musical backbone of the show and much of the narration. Directed by Howard Ashman, the show won several awards including the 1982-1983 New York Drama Critics Circle Award. When it closed after a five year run and 2,209 performances, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS was the third-longest running musical and the highest-grossing production in Off-Broadway history. The musical was adapted for the silver screen in 1986, starring Steve Martin and Rick Moranis, and went on to a Tony-nominated Broadway revival in 2003, and US tour in 20014 starring Anthony Rapp (Rent).

Howard Ashman (book and lyrics) was an American playwright and lyricist. He moved to New York in 1974 and became an editor at Grosset & Dunlap while he wrote plays, including 'Cause Maggie's Afraid of the Dark, The Confirmation, and Dreamstuff, a musical adaptation of The Tempest. Ashman collaborated with Alan Menken in 1979 on a musical based on Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Three years later, they penned LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS with Ashman acting as director, lyricist, and librettist. Despite the wild success of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, Ashman did not consider himself part of the theatre establishment, and not long after LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS closed, he and Menken redirected their collaborations toward Disney films. In the many years of Menken and Ashman's collaborations together, they produced music and lyrics for such now classic Disney films as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, for which he was posthumously awarded the Academy Award for Best Song for "A Whole New World." Together, he and Menken won several awards, including two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, and an additional Oscar for The Little Mermaid's "Under the Sea." Ashman and Menken worked together until Ashman's death at the age of 40 in 1991.

Alan Menken (music) has won eight Oscars, seven Golden Globes, and ten Grammys, as well as one Tony, the Olivier, New York Drama Critics, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Menken's theatre credits include music for Newsies, King David, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, Real Life Funnies, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Weird Romance, and Madison Square Garden stage and NBC film productions of A Christmas Carol. Menken has worked with lyricists including Howard Ashman, Tim Rice, Stephen Schwartz, and Lynn Ahrens, and his extensive film work includes the songs and scores to LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Enchanted and most recently, Tangled.

Director Milissa Carey has assembled a stellar cast for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS including: Adam Cotugno as Seymour, Adrienne Walters as Audrey, Todd Wright as Mushnik (FMT's How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, All Shook Up, Curtains) , Jeff Clarke as Orin (FMT's Damn Yankees), James Lewis as the voice of Audrey II, Lyn Meheula as Crystal (FMT's Spring Awakening), Melissa Baxter as Chiffon, and Megan Coomans as Ronette.

MILISSA CAREY (Director) joined the Foothill faculty in 2003 and teaches in both the Theatre and Music Departments. An award-winning Bay Area actress, Carey has performed leading roles with many Bay Area theatre companies including TheatreWorks, Center Repertory Theater of Walnut Creek, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Pacific Alliance Stage Company, San Francisco Playhouse, Thick Description, 42nd Street Moon, Theatrefirst, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, George Coates Performance Works, and Urban Opera. She was in the cast of the 25th Anniversary Broadway National Tour of Evita under the direction of Hal Prince. Carey has performed with Foothill Music Theatre as "Kate" in Kiss Me Kate, "Golde" in Fiddler on the Roof, and "Lily" in Twentieth Century, directed by Jay Manley, and directed Foothill Music Theatre productions of Working, All Shook Up, and Spring Awakening. She directed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Bus Barn Stage Company, and has worked on projects at American Musical Theatre of San Jose and the A.C.T. Young Conservatory. She is also on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as an acting teacher and stage director in the Opera Department.

DOLORES DURAN-CEFALU (Musical Direction) just finished music directing The Snow Queen at San Jose Rep, Guys and Dolls at Broadway By The Bay, and earlier this year, Stuck Elevator at ACT and Next to Normal and A Minister's Wife at San Jose Rep. She has played for several touring shows in San Francisco, including Book of Mormon, Wicked, Shrek, In The Heights, and Mamma Mia!, and has music directed or played more than 60 different productions around the Bay Area. Duran-Cefalu has two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nominations, and is currently Music Director for California's Great America.

AMANDA FOLENA (Choreography) Artistic Director of Broadway By the Bay, Folena has a BA in Theatre from the University of Southern California and an MFA in Acting from Purdue University. She has worked with many Bay Area companies including San Jose Repertory Company, Opera San Jose, Center REP, Diablo Theatre Company, California Theatre Center and Summer Repertory Theatre in Santa Rosa. Directing and choreography credits include The Producers, Kiss Me Kate, The Full Monty, Dead Man Walking, Annie, Gypsy and Compleat Female Stage Beauty.

Foothill Music Theatre has won Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Awards for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Ensemble Production, and Best Direction, among others. The company has also garnered numerous awards from the Los Angeles-based Drama-Logue, and kudos from myriad Bay Area critics for its sharp, handsomely mounted productions of SPRING AWAKENING, DAMN YANKEES, THE PRODUCERS, BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL, THE PAJAMA GAME, SWEENEY TODD, and many other musicals.

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