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In a change of pace from his recent dramatic roles — on the screen in Nightcrawler and onstage in Constellations — Jake Gyllenhaal has signed on to play Seymour, the lovelorn nerd working at the Skid Row florist’s store at the center of Little Shop of Horrors.
The special event concert staging, which runs for just three performances July 1 and 2, is part of the New York City Center Encores! Off-Season series, devoted to rediscovering off-Broadway musicals.
Gyllenhaal will star opposite Ellen Greene, who plays Seymour’s beloved Audrey, a role she originated off-Broadway in 1982 then reprised in Los Angeles, London and in the 1986 film, directed by Frank Oz.
Also starring in the City Center staging is Saturday Night Live regular Taran Killam as Audrey’s bad-news boyfriend Orin Scrivello, a sadistic dentist with “a talent for causing things pain.”
Read more ‘Constellations’: Theater Review
The show also will feature Chuck Cooper as the voice of the man-eating alien plant, Audrey II, with Marva Hicks, Ramona Keller and Tracy Nicole Chapman as Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon, the girl-group Greek chorus.
Adapted from Roger Corman‘s 1960 low-budget sci-fi horror comedy, the cult-classic musical has a score by Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman. The City Center staging will be directed by Dick Scanlan, with choreography by Patricia Wilcox.
Gyllenhaal made his Broadway debut earlier this season, starring opposite Ruth Wilson in the acclaimed production of Brit dramatist Nick Payne‘s Constellations. Both Gyllenhaal and Killam will make their musical-theater debuts with this production.
Casting for the role of florist shop owner Mr. Mushnik has not yet been announced.
Prior to Little Shop of Horrors, the Encores! series will stage a seven-performance run of the musical Zorba! Written by Joseph Stein, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, the adaptation of Zorba the Greek stars John Turturro in the title role, with Marin Mazzie, Zoe Wanamaker, Santino Fontana and Adam Chanler-Berat. Walter Bobbie directs the production, which runs May 6 through 10.
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