UT Opens Little Shop of Horrors

Posted Mar 29th, 2016 by Angela Riddel  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Community Interest


The University of Toledo Department of Theatre & Film will present the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” at UT April 8-10, 15-17, and 22-24, in which a hapless florist rises to fame and fortune when he accommodates his plant’s hunger for blood and human flesh. A live chamber orchestra (comprised of UT music students) will accompany each performance under the direction of Nathanael Leonard (TPS music teacher and graduate degree alumnus of the UT Department of Music).

The book and lyrics for this cult classic were written by Howard Ashman, with music by Alan Menken. UT’s performances will be directed by Dr. Edmund Lingan, who is an associate professor of theatre and the chair of the UT Department of Theatre & Film. Choreography will be created by Jessica Bonenfant-Coogan, who has collaborated with Lingan over a ten-year period on productions in Toledo and New York City.

Lingan says, “With this production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ I am returning to the film-noir look of the original 1960 movie that the musical is based on. I first saw the movie when I was a little kid, and it was the first time that I realized horror could be funny. I think that’s probably why it translated into a musical comedy so well. Of course, the plot and the songs of the musical are really wonderful. Our cast is a great group of people: a mix of UT theatre and music students, some alumni, and two UT faculty members: namely, Cornel Gabara (Head of Acting in the Department of Theatre and Film) and Denise Bernardini (who teaches Opera in the Department of Music). The acting, scenery, costumes, and singing in this production are going to wow the audience. I think people are going to have a great time with this one.”

Performances will be held Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Center Theatre of the UT Center for Performing Arts (main campus). Parking is free in Area 12, the parking lot directly across the street from the CPA.

Tickets are $20 general admission; $15 for UT faculty, staff, alumni, seniors and members of the military; and are $10 for students and children. Tickets are available in advance from the UT Center for Performing Arts Box Office, by calling 419.530.ARTS (2787), and online at

Edmund Lingan (Director/Producer)
Nate Leonard (Vocal Director)
Jessica Bonenfant-Coogan (Choreographer)
Daniel Thobias (Set/Costume Designer)

Nolan Thomaswick (Seymour)
Ashley Roark (Audrey)
Preston Wilson (Audrey II)
Cornel Gabara (Mr. Mushnik)
Carlos Baez, Jr. (Orin)
Pasha Carter (Ronette)
Mackenzie Peyton (Crystal)
Denise Ritter-Bernardini (Chiffon)
Mike Vanderpool
Spencer McQuestion
Annie Valade
Keeyong Hong
Wonhee Kim

Dr. Edmund B Lingan
Chair and Associate Professor
Department of Theatre and Film
The University of Toledo
2801 W. Bancroft Street, MS 611
Toledo, OH 43606
Office: (419) 530-2855

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