Little Shop of Horrors
January 26 – February 26, 2023
music by Alan Menken
lyrics and book by Howard Ashman
directed by Aja Gianola-Norris
choreography by Lucas Sherman
music direction by Serena Elize Flores
A Deviously Delicious Sci-fi Cult Musical!
“This 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.”
—New York Times
“Excellent throughout; stagecraft impressive, kudos to the creators of Audrey II.”
—Stephen O., Santa Rosa
“We loved the show! The favorite was Audrey II but the entire cast was fantastic. Definitely highly recommended to friends and family!!”
—Kimberly H., Santa Rosa
“My partner who’d never heard of the show found it wonderfully entertaining.”
—Bruce R., Santa Rosa
“…grab your significant other and go see this campy classic.”
—Barry Willis, Aisle Seat Review
Little Shop of Horrors is a delectably unusual story of Seymour, a meek and dejected assistant at a floral shop. One day he happens upon a strange plant, which he affectionately names after his crush, Audrey.
Little does he know this peculiar plant will develop a soulful R&B voice, a potty mouth and an unquenchable thirst for human blood.
As Audrey II grows bigger and meaner, the carnivorous plant promises limitless fame and fortune to Seymour, as long as he continues providing a fresh supply of human blood. Just when it’s too late, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s extra-terrestrial origins and his true drive for world-domination.
Little Shop of Horrors took off-Broadway by storm in the 1980s when the trend-setting creative team took a B-grade science fiction film and transformed it into one of the most successful little musicals of the last 40 years.
Best seen up close. Or if you’re squeamish, try the back row. Whichever, book soon so you’re not disappointed!
Noah Sternhill (Seymour Krelborn), a Santa Rosa native, has had the pleasure of performing with multiple theatre companies in the county, including Redwood Theatre Company. At Santa Rosa Junior College he was in Shrek The Musical– Lord Farquad, & Jesus Christ Superstar – Judas. Most recently, at 6th Street Playhouse, he played Young Scrooge in Scrooge in Love and was in Hair, & 9 to 5. He received an Irene Ryan nomination at the American College Theatre Festival. Sternhill adds, “Horticulture sometimes requires pouring one’s blood, sweat, and tears into it…but don’t take that too literally!
Gillian Eichenberger (Audrey) is an actor, director, musician, and theater educator from Marin County. She couldn’t be happier to be back at 6th Street playing Audrey, the role that inspired her love of theater, after rocking out as Sheila in Hair last season. She recently directed A Doll’s House Pt. 2 for NTC, and played Sylvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona for Curtain Theatre. Other favorite roles include: April in Company, Roxie in Chicago, and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. When she’s not acting or teaching, she sings and plays synthesizer with Oakland-based punk band, “The Hot Takes.” gillianeichenberger.org
Keene Hudson (Audrey 2 – Puppeteer) Keene was most recently seen in Hair at 6th Street Playhouse. He played Lincoln in Top Dog, Underdog and Aufidius in Coriolanus. Hudson studied Theatre at Princeton University, and received an MA in Film from Columbia College, Chicago. He also studied at the Beverly Hills Playhouse school of acting in San Francisco.
Sam Minnifield (Audrey 2 – Voice Offstage) recently performed in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in Dance Nation. Sam received their BFA in Dance at CSU Long Beach and got most of their dance training between El Molino High School and Santa Rosa Junior College. Sam is also a Dance Center Company alumnus.
Dan Schwager (Mr. Mushnik) has performed in a variety of Bay Area theatres. His recent productions include Indecent at San Francisco Playhouse, Saturday Night at Grossinger’s at Sonoma Arts Live, Antigone at the COM Theater, and Moll Flanders at Ross Valley Players. Musical theatre roles include Doolittle in My Fair Lady and Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls. He has also played Reverend Parris in The Crucible with Pacifica Spindrift Players, Mr. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank with Foothill Theater, and has been in multiple productions for Actors Ensemble of Berkeley. Dan grew up in New York City.
Robert Nelson (Orin Scivello, Dentist) is an actor and singer who has been performing in the Bay Area for the past 16 years. His most recent appearances at 6th Street Playhouse were as Mr. Bumble in Oliver! and Paul in Moon Over Buffalo. Other notable credits include Jaimie in The Last 5 Years and Charlie Brown in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown at Novato Theatre Company, King Arthur in Spamalot at Spreckels, Garry/Roger in Noises Off! at Raven Players and Jack in Into The Woods with Theatre-at-Large. He studied Theater Arts at Sonoma State and is a 4-time SFBATCC award nominee and 2-time recipient.
Aja Gianola-Norris (Crystal) has been a part of hundreds of productions, either onstage, directing, producing, playing in the pit, costuming or in another capacity. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Voice and in Harp. At 6th Street Playhouse you may have seen her in Hair and 9 to 5. Favorite roles include Esmeralda in Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dorothy in The Wiz, Ti Moune in Once on This Island, Aja Elaine in Aint Misbehain’, Rosie in Bye Bye Birdie, Eponine, in Les Misérables and Petra in A Little Night Music. Aja is t6th Street Playhouse’s education director.
Serena Elize Flores
Serena Elize Flores (Ronnette/Choreographer) works as a choreographer, director, actress, and casting director. Last seen at 6th Street playhouse as Dionne in Hair, she most recently performed in Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Sonoma Arts Live and in Dance Nation at Left Edge Theatre. Favorite roles include Morticia in The Addams Family, The Acid Queen in The Who’s Tommy, The Witch in Big Fish and Francine/Lena in Clybourne Park, for which she received a TBA Best Actress nomination and Best Ensemble win. Originally from Chicago, Serena Elize holds a master’s degree in philosophy and religion and is studying to become a death doula.
Chiyako (Chiffon) has been performing on stage since she was four-years-old. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Musical Theatre from Cal State San Bernardino and has performed in more than a dozen plays and musicals throughout her acting career. She has also been a designer. She works as a makeup artist and licensed esthetician.
At its heart, Little Shop of Horrors is a Greek moral tragedy in which a young and fallible hero, Seymour, seeks to improve his life by exploiting a higher power. In typical Greek fashion the angry gods don’t just punish the hero, but extend their wrath to everyone the hero touches, including those he loves.
A trio of singing street-wise gals—Ronnette, Crystal, and Chiffon—acts as the Greek Chorus, setting the 1960’s mood. The trio serves as narrator and moves the story along.
The action takes place in Mr. Mushnik’s run-down flower shop in a run-down neighborhood. There, Seymour, who Mr. Mushnik took from an orphanage, toils day and night.
Seymour is innocent and insecure—a nerd who dreams of escaping and making something better of himself. He’s also secretly in love with his co-worker, Audrey, a pretty but ditzy blonde who’s in an abusive relationship with Orin, her sadistic dentist boyfriend. She no longer believes life can be better.
Everyone seems down on their luck, until Seymour introduces them to the strange and wonderful plant, he discovered one day during an eclipse of the sun.
Seymour puts the plant, he’s named Audrey II after his heart throb, in the flower shop’s window. Soon the shop is full of customers and Seymour becomes famous.
But Seymour quickly discovers there’s a price to pay for his good fortune: the plant, he learns, has a taste for human blood.
At first, it’s a price Seymour’s happy to pay, offering his own blood. Audrey II begins to grow…and grow…and grow!
When the plant starts talking, and singing, it strikes a bargain with Seymour—promising to give him all he desires as long he continues to feed it.
The gentle-hearted Seymour is reluctant to hurt anyone. But when he sees Audrey with her abusive boyfriend, Seymour sees his chance to save her. ‘Doing-in’ the boyfriend is easy to justify—he gets rid of an obvious evil and gets a chance at true love.
But soon Audrey II’s hunger spirals out of control. One person after another becomes plant food. When Seymour realizes his success can only continue by finding more victims, he decides he must destroy the plant—only to discover it’s now too big and too powerful.
Is there a way out for Seymour?
Like the gods in Greek tragedy, the man-eating plant views humanity as a pathetic race made powerless by their passions. Meanwhile, the humans innocently pursue their dreams but are unable to see the dangers of their actions before it’s too late. Ultimately, the hero is unable to handle the evil he unleashes, and, at the end…
Be careful what you wish for!