Skylight Music Theatre: Announces cast, creative team for Little Shop of Horrors

Milwaukee, Wis. (October 22, 2020) — Skylight Music Theatre today announced the cast, creative team and a two-day sale for Little Shop of Horrors, running November 13 – December 27, 2020. Performances with safety protocols will take place in a socially distanced Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway, in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

Little Shop of Horrors, with music by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, and Aladdin) marks Skylight’s return to live theatre in its revised 2020-21 season. Featuring a disarmingly funny love story and what is probably the most famous man-eating plant in musical history, Little Shop of Horrors offers hilarious entertainment over the holiday season.  

Two Day Sale October 26-27

Skylight announced a special two-day sale on Monday, October 26 and Tuesday, October 27 to welcome back patrons who are ready to return to the theatre. The sale offers 20% off single adult ‘A’ level tickets.

Health and Safety Protocols

Performances of Little Shop of Horrors will be presented in Skylight’s beautiful Cabot Theatre with socially distanced houses and extensive health and safety protocols. The Cabot, which seats 358, will be limited to approximately 40% capacity with a maximum of 130-150 patrons, based on seating configurations of family groups. New procedures for entering and exiting the theatre, enhanced cleaning, electrostatic disinfectant spraying, contactless ticket scanning, mask requirements, and other safety protocols are in place to protect patrons, casts, orchestras and staff. Skylight consulted with several area doctors to develop the plans, which adhere to all CDC and governmental orders.

Artistic Director Michael Unger to Direct

Artistic Director Michael Unger will mark his Skylight mainstage directorial debut with Little Shop of Horrors. Unger was hired as Artistic Director in September 2019. Although Little Shop was not in his original inaugural season announced in February, the pandemic forced a change in plans.

“When we realized we had to reduce the scope of our shows for safety, Little Shop immediately came to mind. It is a beloved show that was a big hit when Skylight presented it in 2003. We thought its hilarious and quirky story, loveable characters, tuneful score, and of course, massive, R&B singing carnivorous plant would deliver the kind of biting satire and offbeat fun audiences might be ready for.”

Added Unger, “Our fabulous local cast is thrilled to be back on stage in this production. It has been designed from the ground up with extreme safety protocols in place and we look forward to welcoming everyone who feels comfortable returning to live theatre.”

Music Director for the show is David Bonofiglio, who returns to Skylight after music directing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Oklahoma!, Urinetown and Pippin. He will lead a three-piece band.

In this disarmingly funny love story, our hapless hero journeys from obscurity to fame and fortune, unwittingly allowing an opportunistic plant to grow from innocent little flytrap to unstoppable and insatiable force. With a tuneful score by creative geniuses Ashman & Menken, the music blends pop, doo-wop, Broadway and Motown into hilarious and heartfelt songs including “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere that’s Green.”

Skylight Revival of Hit Broadway Musical

Little Shop of Horrors premiered Off-Off-Broadway in 1982 before moving to the Orpheum Theatre Off-Broadway, where it had a five-year run. It later received numerous productions in the U.S. and abroad, and a subsequent Broadway production in 2003. The musical was also made into a 1986 film of the same name, directed by Frank Oz. It has been a smash hit on Broadway, in Hollywood and regionally, devouring the hearts of fans for over 30 years. Little Shop of Horrors premiered at Skylight in 2003.

The New York Times said Little Shop of Horrors “leaves the audience… feeling just like Audrey II between victims – ravenous for more.” Variety praised the “score that’s timelessly sweet and soulful.” Timeout New York called it “layers of sweetness, humor, and wit” and Deadline called it an “international theatrical staple” and “an invigorating blast.”

Little Shop of Horrors
Friday, November 13 – Sunday, December 27, 2020

Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Directed by Michael Unger
Based on the film by Roger Corman, screenplay by Charles Griffith
Sponsored by Private Asset Management – Baird
Recommended for ages 8 and up

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS CREATIVE TEAM

 Director – Michael Unger

 Music Director – David Bonofiglio

 Choreographer – Gerry McIntyre

 Scenic Designer – Brian Prather

 Costume Designer – Kristina Sneshkoff

 Lighting Designer – Graham Kindred

 Sound Designer – John Tanner

 Stage Manager – Kat Carson

 Associate Choreographer – David Roman

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS CAST (In order of appearance)

 Chiffon – Tasha McCoy

 Crystal – Brandite Reed

 Ronnette – Raven Dockery

 Mushnik – David Flores

 Audrey – Ashley Oviedo

 Seymour – Kevin James Sievert

 Orin – Seth K. Hale

 Audrey II (Manipulation) – Gabriella Ashlin

 Audrey II (Voice) – Aaron Reese Boseman

CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

Michael Unger (Director) joined Skylight as Artistic Director in 2019. Unger is also the Producing Artistic Director of NewArts in Newtown, CT, which he started with a local father in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. For NewArts, he has directed a dozen large-scale musicals involving over 550 local children. Most recently he was Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education for Off-Broadway’s York Theatre Company. Unger has directed multiple benefit concerts, including for Susan Stroman and Andre DeShields as well as for the Sandy Hook, CT and Parkland, FL communities. Selected world premieres include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Caligula, and A ROCKIN’ Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is featured in the award-winning documentary film, Midsummer in Newtown. Other directing credits include McCarter Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Deaf West, and The St. Louis MUNY.

David Bonofiglio (Music Director) holds a BFA in piano performance from Cardinal Stritch University. Selected credits as musical director: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Oklahoma, Urinetown, and Pippin for Skylight Music Theatre; Little by Little, Scrooge in Rouge, A Cudahy Caroler Christmas, and Jesus Christ Superstar for In Tandem Theatre; Sunday in the Park with George for Windfall Theatre. As assistant music director: A Christmas Carol for Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. As cover piano/conductor: Once on This Island and La Cage Aux Folles for Skylight Music Theatre. As keyboardist and programmer: Powder Her Face, Les Misérables, In the Heights, Newsies and La Cage Aux Folles for Skylight Music Theatre.

Gerry McIntyre (Choreographer) won acclaim for his choreography of Berkshire Theatre Group’s recent sellout production of Godspell. He is Associate Artistic Director of the York Theatre and made his directing debut at the York with Hallelujah Baby. Other credits include Kinky Boots (The Hangar Theatre), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Actors’ Theatre of Louisville), Chicago (Ogunquit Playhouse), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat starring Diana Degarmo and Anthony Federov (Lyric Theatre) and the National Tour of Dreamgirls. He is the choreographer of the hit off Broadway show Spamilton. Other choreographer credits: Forbidden Broadway The Next Generation (York Theatre), Side by Side, Tommy and My Fair Lady (Berkshire Theatre Festival), and After The Storm documentary. As a performer he was seen in the original Broadway company of Once On this Island, Anything Goes with Patti Lupone, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Donny Osmond.

CAST BIOGRAPHIES (in order of appearance)

Tasha McCoy (Chiffon) made her Skylight debut as Wanda in Crowns in 2016. She has performed on stages in Milwaukee theaters and venues as both an actress and vocalist. For over 20 years, her work in both theater and vocal performances have established her as a seasoned actor and working artist in Milwaukee’s diverse arts community.

Brandite ‘Brandi’ Reed (Crystal) grew up in Milwaukee’s Bronzeville and studied classical and jazz music at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Through community arts organizations such as the African American Children’s theater and Milwaukee Inner-city Arts Council she was introduced to musical theater. She performed in Black Arts MKE’s 2018 & 2019 productions of Black Nativity at the Marcus Performing Arts Center. She appeared in Three Sister’s Named Flo at Skylight’s Cabaret. Reed is currently a Teaching Artist at Black Arts MKE, First Stage Children’s Theatre and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Raven Dockery (Ronnette) previously appeared at Skylight as Ismene in The Gospel of Colonus, Lula Buffington in Violet, Velma in Crowns, Asaka in Once on this Island and Dionne in Hair. She was also in KidsWrites: Me, Myself and I and Cabaret Series: Raven and Ryan on Shuffle. Dockery has a Masters Degree in Music Vocal Pedagogy for Music Theatre Singing from Carthage College. She received her B.F.A. for Music Theatre Performance from UW-Milwaukee. Dockery has performed with First Stage, Milwaukee Rep and Black Arts MKE.

David Flores (Mushnik) has performed with many Milwaukee theater, music, and dance companies including Alchemist, Boulevard, Cornerstone, First Stage, In Tandem, Milwaukee Chamber, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Off The Wall, Optimist, Renaissance, Theater X, Theatre Gigante, Windfall, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Opera Theatre and Wild Space Dance. He has stage directed at Boulevard, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, and Windfall. Flores studied music and dance at Harvard University and is a long-time member of the City of Milwaukee Arts Board. Previous appearances at Skylight Music Theatre include Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray, Zoltan Karpathy in My Fair Lady, Kevin Rosario in In the Heights, The Barber in Man of La Mancha, and Hives in Animal Crackers.

Ashley Oviedo (Audrey) is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, with a BFA in musical theater. She has most recently been seen as Cecily in the virtual musical Being Earnest at Skylight Music Theatre. Other credits include Anna in The Green Room Zoom with Round Earth Entertainment in association with RnD Productions; as Aquarius/Harper/Dana/Adia in When We Were Stars at Next Stage Theater; and as Maggie in the workshop reading of The Mill on the Potomac at First Flight Theater Company. She is also currently part of the workshop cast of The Boy from Troy at The Creative Co-Lab.

Kevin James Sievert (Seymour) is an actor, singer, choreographer and musician based in Wisconsin. Sievert has been seen previously in Skylight productions of Hot Mikado, Urinetown, Disney’s NewsiesThe Gospel at Colonus and Five Guys Named Moe as Little Moe. Other Milwaukee credits include Carrie: The Musical with Outskirts Theatre and choreographer for Waukesha South’s 2020 production of Pippin.

Seth K. Hale (Orin) makes his Skylight debut in Little Shop of Horrors. Some of his most recent roles in the Milwaukee area include Byron in Not Today with Forge Theater, Sholem Asch in Indecent with Music Theatre of Madison and Kenny in Laughter on the 23rd Floor at Next Act.

Gabriella Ashlin (Audrey II Manipulation) holds her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Recent acting credits include Sleeping Beauty in Disenchanted! and Frieda in Carrie: The Musical with Outskirts Theatre Company, Sebastian in The Tempest with Mad Rogues, understudying Dull Gret/Jeanine in Top Girls with Renaissance Theatreworks, and performing in Renaissance Theatreworks’s Br!nk Briefs. She regularly performs at Kohl’s Wild Theater.

Aaron Reese Boseman (Audrey II Voice) is a Chicago native and graduate of Columbia College Chicago. Boseman is co-founder/artistic director of Pulse Theatre Chicago. He has been nominated for multiple BTAA and Black Excellence awards and a Jeff Award. Acting credits: Benny in In The Heights at The Miracle Center, Shrek in Shrek at Windy City Performs, Flick in Violet at Loyola, Senator Lowell in Do Re Mi and Ronnie in Golden Boy at Porchlight Music Theatre, Jim u/s, in Big River at Theatre at the Center, Entertainer in Balm in Gilead at Griffin Theatre, Coalhouse in Ragtime at The Drama Group, Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Summer Playhouse, Benny in Rent at CCC. Directing credits: A Raisin in the Sun, In the Blood, The Colored Museum, Fabulation; or the Re-Education of Undine, A Streetcar Named Desire.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION

Performances of Little Shop of Horrors are Friday, November 13 through Sunday, December 27 in the socially distanced Cabot Theatre, Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward of Milwaukee.

BOX OFFICE

Tickets available by calling the Box Office at (414) 291-7800, emailing [email protected] or visiting www.skylightmusictheatre.orgNote: online tickets can only be purchased in groups of two or three, due to social distancing requirements in the Cabot Theatre. For all other ticket purchases, please call the Box Office.

Two Day Ticket Sale Monday, October 26 – Tuesday, October 27

On October 26-27 there will be a two-day ticket sale offering 20% off single adult ‘A’ level tickets to Little Shop of Horrors with promo code PLANT20. Groups of two or three have the option to purchase tickets online at www.skylightmusictheatre.org from noon – 11:59 p.m. All other ticket purchases must be made by calling the Box Office at (414) 291-7800 from noon – 5 p.m. Due to social distancing, tickets are limited. Limit of 4 tickets per order.

• Please let the Box Office know if accessible seating is needed, or if patrons will have a wheelchair or walker.
• Box Office hours are Mon. – Fri. Noon – 5 p.m. The Box Office window is also open two hours prior to performances.
• Group discounts are available for socially distanced parties of 10 or more by calling (414) 299-4972 or email [email protected]
• If you have ADA needs please contact the Box Office (414) 291-7800 or [email protected].
• Skylight offers a risk-free guarantee to exchange, credit, donate or refund tickets should Covid-19 cancel performances or prevent attendance.
• For more information visit www.skylightmusictheatre.org or email [email protected]

SPECIAL EVENTS

Sensory Friendly Performance. A sensory friendly performance of Little Shop of Horrors will be presented on Friday, November 25 at 6 p.m. Tickets for this performance are only available by calling Skylight Music Theatre’s Box Office at (414) 291-7800. Support for Sensory Friendly performance provided by UPAF Connect.

ASL Performance. Little Shop of Horrors will be interpreted in American Sign Language on Friday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m. Call Skylight Music Theatre’s Box Office at (414) 291-7800 and mention ASL performance for seating in the appropriate section. ASL interpreters provided by UPAF Connect.

PARKING

Purchase $5 parking vouchers from the Broadway Theatre Center Box office for use in the Historic Third Ward parking garage at 212 N. Milwaukee Street (one block east and one block north). Vouchers are valid between 5 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. for evening performances. Matinee vouchers are valid 12-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Not valid for Wednesday matinees. Voucher sales stop 30 minutes before showtime. Advance purchase recommended so that vouchers can be mailed with tickets. No refunds.

Meter parking is available on the street (free after 6 p.m. and on Sundays).

HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Following CDC guidelines and in consultation with area doctors, Skylight Music Theatre is implementing strict health and safety protocols to present live music theatre as safely as possible. Please read more at www.skylightmusictheatre.org/about/health-and-safety-protocols.