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TheatreWorks Presents LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS NEXT MONTH

Performances run November 30 – December 24, 2022.

TheatreWorks Presents LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS NEXT MONTH

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley kicks off its 2022/23 season with a riotous show for the holidays, Little Shop of Horrors, reset in San Francisco's Chinatown. In this offbeat hit musical, narrated through doo-wop ditties by a trio of neighborhood girls, meek florist Seymour finds himself catapulted into instant celebrity when he cultivates an otherworldly showstopper, a highly unusual plant.

Spotlighting multicultural casting, director Jeffrey Lo moves the setting to San Francisco's Chinatown, exploring the cross-cultural community fostered there by marginalized people of color. Little Shop of Horrors features an iconic score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (the Academy Award-winning team behind Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin), offering a light-hearted romp suitable for parents, grandparents, and even the youngsters (recommended for ages 13+).

Little Shop of Horrors will be presented November 30 - December 24, 2022 (press opening: December 3) at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Subscriptions for the 2022/23 season are currently available and single tickets (starting at $35) will go on sale Wednesday, November 2, 2022. For more information the public may visit TheatreWorks.org or call (877)-662-8978.

Little Shop of Horrors is based on the cult-classic B-movie by Roger Corman and Charles Griffith. The musical premiered Off-Off-Broadway at Howard Ashman's WPA Theatre before transferring Off-Broadway to the Orpheum Theatre, where it played for five years. Little Shop of Horrors then became an Academy Award-nominated film starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, and Steve Martin, which was called "a full-blown movie musical, and quite a winning one" by The New York Times. It has been performed at theatres around the world, including at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in 1986, with a recent, critically acclaimed Off-Broadway revival prompting The New York Times to note, "This triumphantly revitalized musical has its own sly message for an era in which celebrity is regarded as a constitutional right: Embrace fame at your peril. It's a killer."

TheatreWorks is committed to creating an environment that is accessible for all audiences in its community. American Sign Language interpretation will be available at the performance of Little Shop of Horrors at 7:30pm, Tuesday, December 13, 2022. In partnership with c2 Caption Coalition, TheatreWorks will offer open captioning (a screen displaying all dialogue and a description of sound effects) for the performances of Little Shop of Horrors at 2pm & 7pm, Sunday, December 18, 2022 and 2pm, Wednesday, December 21, 2022. TheatreWorks is partnering with Gravity in offering audio descriptions to assist patrons who are visually impaired. This service, which includes a pre-show talk, will be available 8pm Saturday, December 17, 2022; 8pm Friday December 23, 2022; and 2pm Saturday December 24, 2022. (To utilize audio description, patrons should pre-register at (877)-662-8978 after purchasing tickets). Assisted listening devices are offered at every performance with no advance registration required. For more information about accessibility programs at TheatreWorks the public may visit TheatreWorks.org/venues/accessibility/

TheatreWorks is also dedicated to engaging audiences through community programming and arts engagement, furthering its mission to develop programming that invests and amplifies the voices and experiences of the theatre company's diverse communities. For each of the shows in the 2022/23 season, TheatreWorks will host In Conversation events, a series of free community events allowing community members to be in conversation with artists and the works onstage. In Conversation events will be staged for Little Shop of Horrors after the 2pm matinees on Saturday, December 10, 2022 and Saturday, December 17, 2022. Investing in the voices of the future, TheatreWorks will present a student matinee of Little Shop of Horrors at 11am Thursday, December 8, 2022.

COVID-19 health and safety procedures will be announced closer to the date of the performance. For up to date information the public may visit TheatreWorks.org/safetyupdate/

TheatreWorks has assembled a talented cast for Little Shop of Horrors. Bay Area theatre veteran Phil Wong (he/him) stars as Seymour Krelborn, a florist who makes a Faustian bargain with vicious vegetation. Seen in last season's holiday production of It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show, TheatreWorks' World Premiere of Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga, in its Oskar school tours, and in the 2021 TheatreWorks New Works Festival Online production of Currency with Bay Area Theatre Cypher, Wong is a Bay Area-based theatre artist, writer, and musician, and a member of the first Bay Area #BARS Cohort. He received physical theatre training at the Accademia dell' Arte in Arezzo, Italy. He has been seen at many regional theatres including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theater, Shotgun Players, Cutting Ball Theater, Ray of Light Theatre, Los Altos Stage Company, and Hillbarn Theatre. Phil is also co-founder of Bay Area Theatre Cypher.

Sumi Yu (she/her) makes her TheatreWorks Silicon Valley debut as Audrey, a sweet romantic who is unlucky in love and works with Seymour in Mr. Mushnik's flower shop. Seen in New York Off-Broadway at City Center Encores! and Lincoln Center Theater, Yu has also appeared onstage at regional theatres including La Jolla Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, TheatreWorksUSA, A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) of Connecticut, Alley Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, and Music Theatre Wichita. Yu's film and TV credits include Starz's "Heels" and NBC's "Rise."

Returning to TheatreWorks where he was seen in M. Butterfly, Red, Bat Boy The Musical, Pacific Overtures, and Jayne Eyre, Lawrence-Michael C. Arias (he/him) plays Mr. Mushnik, the owner of a failing flower shop and boss to Seymour and Audrey. Arias has also been seen onstage at Hillbarn Theatre, City Lights Theater Company, South Valley Civic Theatre, Los Altos Stage Company, and Woodminster Summer Musicals.

Katrina Lauren McGraw (she/her) makes her TheatreWorks main stage debut as the voice of Audrey II, a conniving carnivorous plant that catapults Seymour to fame. McGraw's theatre credits include performances with American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Playhouse, Center Repertory Company, New Conservatory Theatre Center, 42nd Street Moon, Town Hall Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, and Bay Area Musicals. Seen in TheatreWorks' "Oskar" educational tour, Brandon Leland (he/him) will puppeteer Audrey II in his main stage debut. Leland has performed with San Francisco Playhouse, Broadway By the Bay, The Pear Theatre, and Foothill Music Theatre.

Nick Nakashima (he/him) returns to TheatreWorks as Orin Scrivello, an egotistical, sadistic dentist, as well as other characters. Nakashima performed in TheatreWorks' Sense and Sensibility last season, as well as both of TheatreWorks' productions of Jane Austen's EMMA (2007 & 2015), The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue, and A Little Night Music. He was seen in TheatreWorks New Works Festival workshops of Jane Austen's EMMA, Burnt Part Boys, and Unlock'd. Nakashima has also appeared in productions at 42nd Street Moon, Foothill Music Theatre, San Jose Musical Theater, Jewel Theatre Company, and American Musical Theatre of San Jose.

Naima Alakham, Alia Hodge, and Lucca Troutman, make their TheatreWorks debuts as Crystal, Chiffon, and Ronnette, respectively, a trio of neighborhood girls who act as the show's Greek Chorus. Recently starring as Effie in Paramount Theatre's Dreamgirls, Naima Alakham (she/her) has also performed with New York University Tisch's New Studio on Broadway. Alia Hodge (she/her) was seen in the national tours of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Rent. Hodge has also appeared with Berkshire Theatre Group, New Haven Symphony, Speakeasy Stage Company, and North Shore Music Theatre. Her TV credits include performing as a backup singer/dancer for Coldplay on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," and she performed with the cast of Beautiful: The Musical on NBC's "America's Got Talent." Lucca Troutman (she/her) has performed with Berkeley Playhouse, ODC Theater, Oakland Classical Shakespeare Company, and New Britain Theater Company.

Little Shop of Horrors features musical direction by William Liberatore, choreography by William Thomas Hodgson, scenic design by Christopher Fitzer, costume design by Fumiko Bielefeldt, lighting design by Wen-Ling Liao, and sound design by Jeff Mockus. Taylor McQuesten serves as stage manager, with Emily Wolf as assistant stage manager.

Howard Ashman (Book and Lyrics) is best known as a pivotal creative mind behind the Disney animation renaissance with such films as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. Ashman's first love was theater; he was a founder of Off-Off-Broadway's renowned WPA Theatre, where he conceived, wrote, and directed God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater as well as the classic musical Little Shop of Horrors (both with music by Alan Menken). He also wrote and directed the Broadway musical Smile (music by Marvin Hamlisch). In his short career, he received many awards, including The Outer Circle Critics Award, New York Drama Critics Circle and Drama Desk (Little Shop of Horrors), two Oscars (The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast), two Golden Globes (The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast) and multiple Grammys. Howard, a documentary about his life, was produced in 2018. Mr. Ashman died in 1991 of complications of AIDS.

Legendary composer Alan Menken (Music) is noted for his multiple works with the Walt Disney company (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Newsies, Hercules, Home on the Range, Enchanted, and Tangled), as well as Broadway stage musicals Sister Act, Newsies The Musical, Leap of Faith, and Little Shop of Horrors. With eight Academy Awards, Menken has received more Oscars than any living person, and is the recipient of numerous other awards including Golden Globes, Grammys, Drama Desk Awards, and a Tony Award. He is one of 17 people to have received an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award (EGOT).

Jeffrey Lo (Director) is a Filipino-American playwright and director who helmed TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's productions of The Language Archive and The Santaland Diaries. He is the recipient of the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award, the Emerging Artist Laureate by Arts Council Silicon Valley and Theatre Bay Area Director's TITAN Award. His plays have been produced and workshopped at TheatreWorks, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The BindleStiff Studio, City Lights Theater Company, and Custom Made Theatre Company. Directing credits include Hold These Truths and The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin at San Francisco Playhouse; Vietgone and The Great Leap at Capital Stage; Peter and the Starcatcher and Noises Off at Hillbarn Theatre; The Crucible, Yellow Face, and The Grapes of Wrath at Los Altos Stage Company; Uncle Vanya at the Pear Theatre (BATCC award for Best Production); and A Doll's House, Part 2 and Eurydice at Palo Alto Players (TBA Awards finalist for Best Direction). Lo has also worked with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and is a company member of Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company and San Francisco Playground. In addition to his work in theatre he works as an educator and advocate for issues of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and has served as a grant panelist for the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Silicon Valley Creates, and Theatre Bay Area. He is the Casting Director/Literary Manager at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, led by Artistic Director Tim Bond, presents a wide variety of contemporary plays and musicals, revitalizes great works of the past, and serves more than 100,000 patrons per year. Founded in 1970 by Robert Kelley, TheatreWorks has grown from a truly original Silicon Valley start-up to become one of the nation's leading professional non-profit theatre companies. TheatreWorks was recently honored as the recipient of the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award. TheatreWorks also champions new work, offering artists support and a creative home as they develop new stories for the American theatre. Offstage, TheatreWorks' arts education programs in local schools and arts engagement programs in Silicon Valley neighborhoods uplift its audiences and strengthen community bonds. Whether onstage or off, TheatreWorks welcomes the mosaic of people that embody the Bay Area and beyond, celebrating the transformative power of theatre to ignite imagination, inspire conversation, and interconnect our human spirits.


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