Los Angeles Theatre Scene: March 10, 2011…La Mirada, Calif…LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & MC COY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT present the fourth production of their 2010-2011 season of shows, the blood-thirsty musical comedy LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, music by Alan Menken, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, musical direction by David O, choreography by Dana Solimando, directed by La Mirada Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Brian Kite and starring Lesli Margherita, Brett Ryback and Bob Amaral. LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS will open on Friday, April 15 (with a press opening on Saturday, April 16) and run through Sunday, May 1 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.
In this wildly popular musical spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies, a down-and-out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon “Audrey II” grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination! The cast of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS will also feature: Michael A Shepperd as the voice of Audrey II, James Royce Edwards as Orin the Dentist (among others). Angela Peel as Chiffon, Carey Rebecca Brown as Ronnette and Dominique Paton as Crystal.
ABOUT THE CAST
LESLI MARGHERITA (Audrey) is an Olivier Award-winning actress. Born and raised in California, Lesli trained at UCLA, and was soon after chosen to star in MGM’s television series “Fame LA“, directed by Kenny Ortega. She has gone on to star and recur on numerous television shows and pilots including “The Suite Life On Deck“, “Charmed“, “NYPD Blue“, “The District”, “The King of Queens“, “Thieves“, “JAG“, “Fighting Fitzgeralds“, “Nikki,” “Kristin“, and “On The Lot“, produced by Steven Spielberg. Film credits include: Joel Schumacher’s “The Number 23: and the Sam Raimi produced horror film “Boogeyman 2.” Lesli can also be heard on several animated films and TV shows, most recently Disney’s “Cinderella 3” and “Sponge Bob Squarepants.” Lesli recently starred opposite Gary Beach as the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot at Sacramento Music Circus. Early this year she headlined the West Coast Premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s See What I Wanna See at The Blank Theater in Hollywood and Rated RSO at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center, and appeared as Gloria in Jason Alexander’s production of Damn Yankees at Reprise. In 2009, Leslie was honored with an Olivier Award for her work in the musical Zorro on the West End. Performing since childhood, Lesli has an extensive resume of national tours, Los Angeles company and regional theater credits. Favorite leading roles include: Aida, Kiss Me Kate , Man Of La Mancha, Beehive , Anything Goes ,West Side Story , Zorba, Reefer Madness, Grease, A Chorus Line, Gypsy, and Dames At Sea. Her nightclub act, “All Hail the Queen” continues to play to sellout crowds throughout LA.
BRETT RYBACK (Seymour) Theatre: The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The History Boys, Venice (Workshop) (CTG); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (La Mirada, Ovation Award Nomination); Shear Madness, Master of the House, Red Herring (Laguna Playhouse); Henry V (Milwaukee Shakespeare); Over the Tavern, Inspecting Carol (Milwaukee Rep); On Your Toes! (Reprise!); Mary’s Wedding (Colony); and the world premieres of Imagine and Dr. Cerberus (SCR), among many others. Television: Cupid, House, How I Met Your Mother. Film: Spit. Mr. Ryback is also an accomplished composer and playwright. His works include: Liberty Inn (Ovation Award nominations Best Book, Best Music/Lyrics); Weïrd (Winner, Tennessee Williams One-Act Competition); and A Roz By Any Other Name (Winner, Henrico County Theatre, Virginia, One-Act Competition.) He is a primary contributor to www.crazytownblog.com, he has contributed songs to the webseries The Battery’s Down, and he is the music director and arranger for Lesli Margherita’s All Hail the Queen. His play cycle, Such Stuff: A Trilogy of Shakespearean One-Acts, will have its world premiere this fall in Los Angeles.
BOB AMARAL (Mr. Mushnik) was the last Pseudolus in the Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (after having stood by for and gone on for his predecessors-Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg and David Alan Grier). For two years Bob played Max in the Leo Company of the National Tour of The Producers and the year prior to that was Pumbaa in the Cheetah Company of the National Tour of The Lion King. He also appeared in the San Francisco Opera production of The Merry Widow (available on DVD) and was Frederick/Phillip in Noises Off. And before going out on the road Bob made two guest appearances on Howard Stern’s Son of the Beach.
On television Bob has been seen in My Two Dads, Major Dad, Empty Nest, Love & War, The Second Half, Brother’s Keeper, Mad About You, Babylon 5, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Any Day Now and was Eddie Hayes in Rob Reiner’s Morton & Hayes.The cast of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS will also feature: Michael A Shepperd as the voice of Audrey II, James Royce Edwards as Orin the Dentist (among others). Angela Peel as Chiffon, Carey Rebecca Brown as Ronnette and Dominique Paton as Crystal.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
BRIAN KITE (Director) is the Producing Artistic Director of La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and has directed across the United States and abroad. His La Mirada Theatre credits include the critically acclaimed productions of Dinner With Friends, Steel Magnolias starring Cathy Rigby, Driving Miss Daisy starring Michael Learned and David Auburn’s Proof. He recently helmed a production of Cabaret in Bermuda under the patronage of the Queen’s Governor and directed a production of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie at The Actors Co-op in Hollywood. He directed over 20 productions at French Woods Festival in New York where he was the Director of Theater Programs for over 7 years. Brian is currently a member of the directing faculty at U.C.L.A’s School of Theater, Film and Television, serves on the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles Stage Alliance, and is the Artistic Director of the award-winning Buffalo Nights Theatre Company.
DAVID O (Musical Direction) is happy to return to the La Mirada Theater after musically directing last year’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. A multifaceted composer, performer, and musical director, David’s most notable work is his composition “A Map of Los Angeles” (LA Master Chorale/Walt Disney Concert Hall). Thousands of children and their parents know David for his six years of performances with “Summersounds at the Hollywood Bowl” (LA Philharmonic). His original musicals include The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip (CTG/PLAY) and Imagine (South Coast Rep). David was also the musical director and arranger for Toy Story: The Musical (Disney Creative Entertainment).
David’s work as a musical director includes 13 (World Premiere – Mark Taper Forum), The Wild Party, See What I Wanna See, and Little Fish (West Coast Premieres – Blank Theatre), and The Last 5 Years (Pasadena Playhouse), among many other productions. He has received numerous LA Weekly, LADCC, and Garland Awards for his work over the years. Most recently, he co-orchestrated the score for Randy Newman’s Harps & Angels at the Mark Taper Forum, and served as musical director and accompanist for the Blank Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production of The Cradle Will Rock.
DANA SOLIMANDO (Choreographer) made her Broadway debut in Cats at the Winter Garden Theatre as Rumpleteazer. Other director/choreography credits include various productions of SWING! (2004 & 2006 Ovation Awards), Crystal Cruise Lines ROUTE 66, Too Old For the Chorus, Jesus Christ Superstar starring the late Carl Anderson (NAACP Theatre Award Nomination-Best Choreography) & Oliver! Also a performer, Dana played Tiger Lily on the Broadway A&E Video production of Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby, as well as numerous other Broadway Nat’l tours & regional productions: Swing!, Sugar Babies, Grease, Oklahoma, Gypsy, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Chorus Line …TV Credits: VH-1, MTV, The Today Show & General Hospital. Dana also enjoys molding young minds as a teacher for the University of California Irvine.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS has assembled an award-winning design team. The Set Design is by Scott Pask. The Lighting Design is by Craig Pierce. The Sound Design is by Josh Bessom. The Costume Design is by William Ivey Long. Puppeteering by Robin Knight. The stage manager is Lisa Palmire.
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS will begin performances on Friday, April 15, 2011 (with a press opening on Saturday, April 16) and runs for three weeks through Sunday, May 1. Performances will be 7:30pm on Tuesdays through Thursdays; 8pm on Fridays; 2pm and 8pm on Saturdays; and 2pm and 7pm on Sundays. There will be no matinee performance on Saturday, April 16 and no evening performance on Sunday, April 17. There will be a talk-back session following the performance on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Tickets range from $35 – $50 and can be purchased at La Mirada Theatre’s website, www.lamiradatheatre.com or by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. Student, Senior, Children and group discounts are available.
LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, near the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue where the 91 and 5 freeways meet. Parking is free.
LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, now in its fourth decade, has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the best Broadway-style houses” This beautiful state-of-the-art theatre has been producing quality productions for its Southern California audiences since 1977. The theatre has produced several national tours and is the recipient of many accolades including Ovation and Emmy Awards and Tony Award nominations. Brian Kite is the theatre’s Producing Artistic Director.
McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT combines the talents of musical theatre star Cathy Rigby with Tom McCoy’s extensive production and theatrical experience and has become one of the nation’s premier theatrical production companies. Credits include Tony-nominated Broadway shows, long-running national tours, multiple-award-winning Los Angeles stage productions, and hit TV specials. The number of major theatrical awards garnered by McCoy Rigby Entertainment includes 3 Ovation Awards, 25 Drama-Logue Awards, 3 Backstage Garland Awards and 3 Tony Award nominations, 20 Ovation nominations and 8 NAACP award nominations for the touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar. In addition, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded McCoy Rigby Entertainment an Emmy for Best Scene Design as part of four nominations for the A&E network production of Peter Pan. www.mccoyrigby.com
Richard Cameron of Theatre Chat thanks LA MIRADA THEATRE for this press release and our dear friend LESLI MARGHERITA.