Sarasota News Events
Florida Studio Theatre (FST) kicks off its 50th Winter Mainstage Series with Little Shop of Horrors, a hit Broadway sci-fi musical that has entertained audiences for 40 years. With Book & Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Music by Alan Menken, Little Shop of Horrors is a tongue-in-cheek musical comedy about a saucy, R&B-singing carnivorous plant with a man-eating appetite for world domination. Directed by FST Associate Director Sean Daniels, Little Shop of Horrors begins playing November 15 in FST’s Gompertz Theatre.
“Little Shop of Horrors has some of the best musical theater writing that exists,” explained show director Sean Daniels. “These songs are just a joy to hear over and over again.”
“The amazingly crafted music and lyrics of Menken and Ashman are what I enjoy the most about Little Shop of Horrors,” said music director Darren Server. “They take the audience on a musical thrill ride that incorporates elements from all over our culture. It uses styles of music and genres that we’re familiar with—it hints at the beach-blanket, bubblegum horror films of the early 1960s and the ‘doo-wop’ music of Phil Spector’s girl groups.”
Little Shop of Horrors follows hapless flower shop assistant Seymour Krelborn, who stumbles across a new breed of plant, which he names ‘Audrey II’ after his coworker crush. The scheming, foul-mouthed plant promises Seymour unending fame and fortune with one condition: he must keep feeding it BLOOD. Seymour soon discovers Audrey II’s out-of-this-world origins and its insatiable appetite for global domination.
Called “Disarmingly funny” by Hollywood Reporter and “A weird and adorable show with teeth” by TimeOut New York, Little Shop of Horrors premiered Off-Off Broadway at the WPA Theatre in 1982, before moving to the Off-Broadway house, the Orpheum Theatre, where it played for five years. Since then, the play has been widely produced around the world, was produced on Broadway in 2003, and was adapted into a movie in 1986.
FST’s production features Sam Seferian as Seymour Krelborn, Samantha Duval as Audrey, and Derrick Cobey as the Voice of The Plant. Seferian played Giulio in the Broadway production of Pretty Woman: The Musical and played Boq in the national tour of Wicked. Duval was last seen at FST in the popular 2023 Summer Cabaret, Divas Three, and was part of the national tours of Cirque Musica and The Celtic Ladies. Cobey originated the role of Andy Wright in The Scottsboro Boys on Broadway and was last seen at FST in the 2014 Winter Cabaret, Too Darn Hot.
Joel Blum, a two-time Tony Award nominee for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, will play Mr. Mushnik. John Gregorio, a founding member of Dad’s Garage Theatre in Atlanta, GA, will play Orin Scrivello, DDS, a ruthless dentist hooked on nitrous oxide.
Rounding out the cast of Little Shop of Horrors are Katelyn Bowman (Ronette/Dance Captain), Jameelah Leaundra (Crystal), Desireé Tolodziecki (Chiffon), and David Gaztambide (Puppeteer for Audrey II/The Plant). Bowman has performed at regional theatres across the country, including the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, North Carolina Stage Company, and Ivoryton Playhouse. Leaundra has also performed across the United States, playing Aida in Aida, Ella in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Tolodziecki’s credits include Beehive at Milwaukee Rep and Totem Pole Playhouse, Memphis at North Carolina Theatre, and The Bodyguard at North Shore Music Theatre. Gaztambide is a Sarasota-based actor who has performed at the Orlando Fringe Festival and Mountain Theatre Company.
The creative team features direction by Sean Daniels, choreography by Jim Weaver, music direction by Darren Server, scenic design by Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay, costume design by Harry Nadal, lighting design by Ben Rawson, sound design by Nicholas Christensen, and stage management by Roy Johns.
FST’s production of Little Shop of Horrors is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The production is also supported by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues, and the Shubert Foundation. Thank you to our media sponsor, the Herald Tribune Media Group.
Little Shop of Horrors is part of a four-show subscription package. Also included in the Winter Mainstage subscription package is the heartfelt comedy Pictures From Home, the five-time Tony Award-winning drama The Lehman Trilogy, and the touching play with music, Troubadour. Subscriptions for all four Winter Mainstage shows can be purchased for as little as $69, and single tickets for Little Shop of Horrors range from $29-49. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.
Little Shop of Horrors is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
Mr. Mushnik – Joel Blum*
Ronnette/Dance Captain – Katelyn Bowman*
Voice of The Plant – Derrick Cobey*
Audrey – Samantha Duval
Puppeteer for The Plant – David Gaztambide
Orin and Others – John Gregorio*
Crystal – Jameelah Leaundra*
Seymour – Sam Seferian*
Chiffon – Desireé Tolodziecki*
About Florida Studio Theatre
Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is Sarasota’s contemporary theatre. Founded in 1973, FST has grown to a village of five theatres located in the heart of downtown Sarasota. Each theatre is small in size and large in impact— providing intimate and engaging settings for high-quality, professional performances.
Today, FST has established itself as a major force in American Theatre. FST is the largest subscription theatre in the state of Florida and among the largest in the country, serving more than 225,000 live attendees each year across its diverse programs: Mainstage, Cabaret, Stage III, Children’s Theatre, Improv, The FST School, and New Play Development.
Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to as many people as possible. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins, FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. Hip and historical, entertaining and challenging, we are where everyone is welcome to engage in the art of theatre.