Anthony Rapp is Suddenly Seymour as Little Shop of Horrors Starts in Los Angeles, Aug. 24

By Ernio Hernandez
and Andrew Gans
24 Aug 2004

Anthony Rapp
Anthony Rapp

Anthony Rapp and Tari Kelly headline the Jerry Zaks revival staging of Little Shop of Horrors which will play as the final production of Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre season, Aug. 24-Oct. 17.

The nine-week sitdown stop at the California stage is the second venue of the national tour which launched Aug. 10 at Dallas, Texas' Music Hall. Other cities on the tour lineup, past the L.A. run, include Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Hartford, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Chicago and more.

The Howard Ashman-Alan Menken musical based on the 1960 Roger Corman film recently closed (Aug. 22) on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre. The score features such memorable songs as "Suddenly Seymour," "Somewhere That's Green," "Downtown," "Dentist!" and the title song.

Rapp and Kelly lead a company that also includes Lenny Wolpe as Mushnik, James Moye as Orin, Michael James Leslie as the voice of Audrey II, Amina S. Robinson as Crystal, Yasmeen Sulieman as Chiffon and LaTonya Holmes as Ronnette. Audrey II is puppeteered by Paul McGinnis and Michael Latini.

The tour reteams the director with his Broadway collaborators — choreographer Kathleen Marshall and designers Scott Pask (scenic), William Ivey Long (costume) and Donald Holder (lighting). Domonic Sack and Carl Casella handle sound. Michael Kosarin serves as musical supervisor with music direction by Brent-Alan Huffman.



Little Shop of Horrors features book and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken. The musical, immortalized in the 1986 Frank Oz film starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin, follows the trials of a Skid Row florist who discovers his exotic plant — named for his co-worker whom he pines for — needs more than sunlight and water to stay alive.

The production features an array of plants designed by The Jim Henson Workshop and Martin P. Robinson — who designed the plant used in the original 1982 Off Broadway production.

Anthony Rapp created the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway and London productions of Rent. His other theatrical credits include Hedwig and the Angry Inch; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Precious Sons; Six Degrees of Separation; Bright Lights, Big City; Raised in Captivity; Trafficking in Broken Hearts; Youth Is Wasted; Sophistry; and The Destiny of Me. Rapp's film credits feature roles in "A Beautiful Mind," "Adventures in Babysitting," "School Ties," "Dazed and Confused" and "Six Degrees of Separation."

Tari Kelly, who was recently part of the ensemble of The Boy From Oz, also understudied the role of Liza. She was also seen on Broadway in Show Boat and Off-Broadway in Streakin' Her tour and regional credits include Show Boat, Beauty and the Beast, Triumph of Love, Man of La Mancha, Chicago, Everything's Ducky and Once Upon a Mattress.

For a list of upcoming tour stops, visit the official website at www.littleshopofhorrors.com.

Tickets to Little Shop of Horrors at the Ahmanson Theatre, located at the Music Center at 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA are available by calling (213) 628 2772. For more information, visit www.taperahmanson.com.