‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Opens for Business at Playhouse

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Playhouse will whet the appetite of theatergoers with its season-opening production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

The comic rock musical about a man-eating plant in a flower shop opens a two-weekend run Friday.

The silly and slightly gruesome show is directed by Robert Dennick Joki, who also made the ever-hungry and rapidly growing plant puppet.

Kage Coven plays Seymour, a meek employee of the flower shop. Carolyn Colley is Audrey, the cute shop clerk and object of Seymour’s desire who finds herself in the middle of the feeding frenzy.

The cast also includes Nathan Beagle as Mr. Mushnik, the shop owner; Frank Carsone as Orin; Heather Powell, Wayne Bonner III, Sarah Whitlach, Holly Anne, John Weber, Briana Wagner Matijieric and Eric McCrea.

Connor Bezeredi brings Audrey 2, the killer plant puppet, to life.

Colley – who is also the lead singer in regional rock band Black Wolf & The Thief – said she feels honored to play Audrey.

“I was honestly kind of intimidated at first, because she is such a nuanced character,” she said. “At first glance she’s just a ditzy, dumb blonde, but there is so much more going on under the surface. She’s soft yet strong, sad but still kind, and somehow hopeful in hopeless seeming situations.”

Colley described the show as “a visual and audio delight,” with a “gorgeous set and incredible cast.”

Black Wolf & The Thief has a concert tonight (Sept. 21) at the Rialto Theatre in Akron, and  

Colley was worried that it would interfere with ‘Little Shop’ rehearsals.

However, fate made that potential conflict disappear. The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra’s concert tonight at Powers Auditorium pre-empted the Playhouse’s rehearsal space, freeing Colley to sing with her band.

“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to be in ‘Little Shop’ at all because of that, but lucky for me Thorgy Thor and the Thorchestra also has a show on Thursday at Powers Auditorium [with the YSO], so we weren’t going to have rehearsal Thursday anyway,” she said.

Still, lyrics from a song she sings in “Little Shop” have been running through her head – and finding their way out during her band’s shows.

“I have actually been singing ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ as my mic check for the last few shows Black Wolf has had,” she said.

Friday will be a big opening night for Colley. In addition to being in “Little Shop,” Black Wolf will release its new single, “Naïve,” on all streaming services that day. The song also features Bezeredi, who voices the role of the man-eating puppet in “Little Shop.”

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows, “Little Shop of Horrors” was written by the renowned team of Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken.

Caitlyn N. Santiago is the stage manager of the Playhouse production; Tyler Stouffer is music director; Johnny Pecano is scenic director; and Emelia Sherin is choreographer.

Performances will start at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22, 23, 29 and 30; and 2:30 p.m. Sept. 24 and Oct. 1.

Tickets range from $17 to $27 (plus applicable fees) and can be purchased by phone at 330 788 8739; at the DeYor Performing Arts Center box office, downtown; and at youngstownplayhouse.org.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.