WHO'S WHO IN THE CAST
Howard Ashman (Book & Lyrics) was a founder and Artistic Director of the storied off-off Broadway Theater, the WPA, where he conceived, wrote and directed a musical adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater with music by Alan Menken. In 1982 Ashman conceived, wrote and directed Little Shop of Horrors, again with music by Mr. Menken. The musical, based upon Roger Corman’s 1960s-era horror flick was immediately successful. Indeed, it soon became a New York “must see,” playing for five years off-Broadway at the Orpheum Theater in lower Manhattan. The show played LA and London’s West End, Japan, Scandinavia, and Europe, and continues to be produced to great acclaim around the world. In 2003, Little Shop was revived on Broadway, and in 2007 it was revived on London’s West End. It is currently one of the most-produced shows in American high schools. In 1986, he wrote and directed the Broadway musical, Smile, which featured music by Marvin Hamlisch. Little appreciated at the time, Smile is now considered a lost gem of musical theater and is performed by high schools and amateur groups around the US. Turning his talents toward film, Ashman was pivotal in the renaissance of Disney animated musicals and in the development of The Little Mermaid (Producer and Lyrics), Beauty and the Beast (Executive Producer and Lyrics) and Aladdin (Lyrics), all with music by Alan Menken. After his death from complications of AIDS in 1991, New York Times film critic, Janet Maslin wrote: “[Ashman’s] death from AIDS in March at age 40 cut short a brilliant career, but the jubilant energy of his work will long live on." Ashman’s contributions to the revival of classic Disney animated musicals were perhaps best expressed by his colleagues, who dedicated the film Beauty and the Beast to his memory: “To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul. We will be forever grateful.” Ashman’s numerous awards include two Oscars, two Golden Globes, four Grammys, a Drama Desk and a London Evening Standard.
Alan Menkin (Music). Alan Menken’s music, songs and scores have become an integral part of the fabric of our lives since his first works were produced nearly 40 years ago. His stage musicals include God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Atina: Evil Queen of the Galaxy, Real Life Funnies, Little Shop of Horrors, Kicks, The Dream on Royal Street, Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol, Weird Romance, King David, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap of Faith, Newsies, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and A Bronx Tale. Song and score credits for film musicals include The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast (Animated), Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, The Shaggy Dog, Home on the Range, Enchanted, Tangled, Mirror Mirror and Beauty and the Beast (Live Action),Howard and Aladdin (Live Action). Individual songs for film include Rocky V – “The Measure of a Man,” Home Alone 2: Lost in New York – “My Christmas Tree,” Life With Mikey – “Cold Enough to Snow,” Noel – “Winter Light,” Captain America: First Avenger – “Star Spangled Man” and Sausage Party – “The Great Beyond.” Television credits include writing songs for “Sesame Street,” the ABC mini-series “Lincoln,” a musical episode of “The Neighbors,” the ABC series “Galavant” and the Disney Channel’s “Tangled: The Series.” His chart-topping songs have included “Beauty and the Beast.” “A Whole New World,” “Colors of the Wind” and “Go the Distance.” Winner of the 2012 Tony and Drama Desk awards for his score for Newsies, he has won more Academy Awards than any other living individual, including eight Oscars® with 4 for Best Score and 4 for Best Song; 11 Grammy® Awards (including Song of the Year for “A Whole New World”); 7 Golden Globes; London’s Evening Standard Award; the Olivier Award; the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award. Other notable achievements include induction as a Member (2008) in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame followed by receiving the lifetime achievement acknowledgement of the Johnny Mercer Award (2017); Billboard’s number one single (“A Whole New World”) and number one album (Pocahontas). In 2001 he received the distinction of being named a Disney Legend. Awarded two doctorates in Fine Arts from New York University and the North Carolina School of the Arts. In 2010 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Recent live concert appearances include Hollywood Bowl, Segerstrom Center and Royal Albert Hall, Budokan, Osaka-jo Hall, Maihama Amphitheatre, Tuacahn and Chicago Auditorium.
Bob Richard (Director) has directed/choreographed the Broadway and tour productions of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! for the past 15 years! Off-Broadway he directed and choreographed Inventing Mary Martin: The Revue of a Lifetime (Joseph A. Callaway Award nomination) and The Road to Qatar. He has directed at North Shore Music Theatre, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Theatre By The Sea, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars, Pioneer Theatre Company; and internationally in Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, London, and at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. His work has received a Footlight Award, Gypsy Rose Lee Award, Ivey Award, Ernie Award, and San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award. My love to my Rocks: Diane and Robert Henry - thank you for showing me the beauty of life and love.
Diane Laurenson (Choreographer) returns to North Shore Music Theatre after working alongside director/ husband Bob Richard on Peter Pan (2018), The Music Man (2017), and West Side Story (2016). Other choreographic credits include Footloose, Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, and West Side Story (Theatre By The Sea); Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ (Asst. Recreateur-2nd Tour); productions of West Side Story at NSMT, The Ordway, North Carolina Theatre, Westbury Music Fair, and Sacramento Music Circus; Asst. Choreographer on Gypsy with Bette Midler; and Shanghai Bund (China). Ms. Laurenson is also a performer (six Broadway shows), stagehand (five Broadway shows), and dance educator (faculty: Broadway Dance Center – NYC and Tokyo). She is a proud member of SDC, AEA, SAG/AFTRA and (retired) IATSE (electrics). Insta: @dlaurenson
Dan Rodriguez (Music Director) is happy to join NSMT for Little Shop of Horrors, one of his favorite shows! Dan’s recent area credits include work with the Lyric Stage Company (The Last Five Years, Little Shop of Horrors), the Front Porch Arts Collective (Ain’t Misbehavin’), Huntington Theatre Company (Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music), Reagle Music Theater (Pippin, West Side Story), Wheelock Family Theatre (Make Way for Ducklings, In the Heights), American Repertory Theatre (The Lily's Revenge, The Blue Flower), New Repertory Theater (Hair), Moonbox Productions (Caroline or Change, Cabaret) and many other theaters, as well as work at the Boston Conservatory, Emerson, Brandeis, and other schools. His work has earned him five IRNE Awards for Best Music Direction.
Kyle Dixon (Scenic Design). Kyle’s scenic artwork may be seen across the United States, from NYC to Las Vegas. Recent scenic designs include: Buddy, Cinderella, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Mamma Mia! (’18, ‘21), The Bodyguard, Sunset Boulevard, Jersey Boys, Freaky Friday, Oklahoma!, Hairspray! Peter Pan, Mame, 42nd Street, Young Frankenstein, The Music Man, West Side Story (North Shore Music Theatre), White Christmas, Rock of Ages, and A Bronx Tale (John W. Engeman Theatre), Camelot (Westchester Broadway Theatre), The Broadway Classic Music Dance Review (Tianqiao Performing Arts Center, Beijing, China), Kinky Boots, Cinderella, Footloose, Million Dollar Quartet, Saturday Night Fever, Newsies, Singin’ in the Rain, Love and Other Fables, Chicago, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mamma Mia!(BroadwayWorld Regional Award), Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Producers, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Music Man, Beehive,Buddy, West Side Story, The Wizard of Oz, Sister Act, and Young Frankenstein (Theatre By The Sea, BroadwayWorld Regional Award), Growing up 70’s starring Barry Williams (Off Broadway), Angelina Ballerina, The Musical (NYC, Toronto, National Tour), Fancy Nancy, the Musical(NYC, National Tour), StinkyKids (Off Broadway Alliance Award), It Shoulda Been You (starring Kim Zimmer) and The Wizard of Oz (Gretna Theatre, BroadwayWorld Regional Award), Xanadu, Doubt, The Secret Garden and The Merchant of Venice (Williams Center for the Arts), and many more. Kyle has designed concert events for Faith Prince, Tommy Tune, Pam Tillis, and the NC Gubernatorial Inauguration Gala (Telly Award). In addition to theatre, Kyle accepts fine art commissions and is the designer of North Carolina’s historic Elizabethan Gardens’ Winter Lights. KyleDixonDesigns.com Instagram: @kyle_dixon_designs
Kelly Baker (Costume Coordinator & Additional Costume Design) is so happy to back for another season! Previous NSMT Costume Design/Coordinator credits include: Buddy, Cinderella, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Mamma Mia! ('21, '18), The Bodyguard, Sunset Boulevard, Jersey Boys, Freaky Friday, Oklahoma!, A Christmas Carol, Hairspray, Jekyll & Hyde, Peter Pan, as well as TYA shows A Year With Frog and Toad and Curious George: The Golden Meatball. Other companies she has worked for include: The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, New England Conservatory, Greater Boston Stage Company, Odyssey Opera, The Cape Playhouse, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Theatre By The Sea, and OIV’s Ouroboros Trilogy. Thank you to Kevin, Karen, Matthew and the amazing NSMT Costume Shop/Wardrobe Crew for all that they do. Hi Mama!
Jack Mehler (Lighting Design). Previous work with NSMT includes Scenery & Lighting for Jekyll & Hyde (2018, IRNE nomination), Singin’ in the Rain (2016), Billy Elliot The Musical (2015), Miss Saigon (2013), Scenery for West Side Story (2003), and Lighting for Buddy, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, A Christmas Carol ('02-'19, ’21; 2012 IRNE nomination), Oklahoma!, Annie, Camelot (IRNE nomination), Children of Eden, 42nd Street, Funny Girl, Gypsy, Hairspray, High School Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, The King and I, A Little Night Music, My Fair Lady, Nine (IRNE nomination), Ragtime, The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie, West Side Story (2016), Wizard of Oz, and Young Frankenstein. He received the 2012 (Elisabeth) and 2013 (Rebecca) Korean Musical Theatre Awards (Korean Tony) for Lighting Design of the Year. Other Theatre design credits include Walnut Street Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club, Riverside Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Seattle Rep, Syracuse Stage, Weston Playhouse, The Working Theatre and WPA among many others. Dance: Joffrey Ballet, Lar Lubovitch, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Donald Byrd/Spectrum Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Jose Limon, Ballet Memphis and others. Jack also provides owner's design representation for organizations building or renovating performance and rehearsal spaces and is on the Board of ACT of Connecticut where he received Broadway World Connecticut awards for both scenery and lighting design for Evita.
Alex Berg (Sound Design) is excited to return to NSMT for Little Shop of Horrors! Alex is a freelance sound designer and mix engineer, and the founder of Echotech Audio. Credits include shows at A Contemporary Theatre of Connecticut, Prescott Park Arts Festival, Barrington Stage Company, American Repertory Theater, Kavinoky Theatre, and Shakespeare in Delaware Park. Thank you to the team at NSMT, and to my family, friends, and Lyn for all their love and support.
Rachel Padula-Shufelt (Wig & Hair Design) Previous work at North Shore Music Theatre include Buddy, Cinderella, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Bodyguard, Sunset Boulevard, Jersey Boys, Freaky Friday, and Oklahoma! Broadway credits include: Glass Menagerie, Waitress. Regional: American Repertory Theatre: Macbeth in Stride, Moby Dick (Elliot Norton Award winner- Best Design), Black Clown, Waitress, Fingersmith (Elliot Norton Award winner- Best Design), Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (Elliot Norton award winner- Best Design), Marie Antoinette, and Crossing Huntington Theatre Company: The Colored Museum. Rachel is the hair and makeup supervisor for Boston Ballet.
Stephen MacDonald (Production Stage Manager) is excited to be working on another production with North Shore Music Theatre after stage managing Buddy, Cinderella, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, A Christmas Carol (‘21) and Mamma Mia! (‘21). Other recent credits include The Inheritance, People, Places and Things and Admissions with Speakeasy Stage Company of Boston, Mamma Mia! ('21) at Theatre by The Sea, and A Year with Frog and Toad TYA at North Shore Music Theatre. When not working professionally as a stage manager, Stephen spends his time directing and designing educational productions, teaching future generations of performing and technical theatre artists.
Dakotah Wiley Horan (Assistant Stage Manager) is thrilled to be back having worked as the Assistant Stage Manager on Buddy, Cinderella, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, A Christmas Carol ’16 – ’19, ‘21, Mamma Mia! (‘18, ‘21), The Bodyguard, Sunset Boulevard, Jersey Boys, Freaky Friday, Oklahoma!, Hairspray, Jekyll & Hyde, Peter Pan, Mame, 42nd Street, Evita, Young Frankenstein, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Music Man, West Side Story, Spamalot and Singin' In The Rain, and as the Production Assistant for Mary Poppins and Funny Girl. Some of her previous Stage Management credits include: Capital Repertory Theatre: Betrayal, Marvelous Wonderettes, Cactus Flower, 33 Variations, Leslie Uggams in Uptown Downtown, Man of La Mancha, and Single Girls Guide. Pendragon Theatre: Clean House, and Twelve Angry Men. She would like to thank her parents for instilling and encouraging her love of theatre, and to her friends and her North Shore family for always supporting her.
Robert L. Rucinski (Assistant Music Direction) is thrilled to be a part of the 2022 season at NSMT. Past NSMT Music Director credits include A Christmas Carol (‘19), A Year with Frog & Toad, School House Rock Live Jr. Past Assistant Music Director credits include Cinderella, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, A Christmas Carol (‘04 – ‘07, ‘10 – ‘18, ’21), Sunset Boulevard, Jersey Boys, Freaky Friday, Oklahoma!, Hairspray, Jekyll & Hyde, Peter Pan, 42nd Street, West Side Story, Singin’ in the Rain ('06 & '16), Les Misérables, The Little Mermaid, The King and I, Forever Plaid, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Crazy for You, Cinderella ('05-'06), Ain't Misbehavin', Damn Yankees, Camelot, Fame. Robert has been music director at many theaters throughout New England and teaches at several high school and university theater programs in the local area. A native of Jersey City, NJ, he now lives in Arlington, MA. More info at RucinskiMusic.com.
Bill Hanney (Owner/Producer) is honored and proud to have been responsible for both the 2007 purchase and re-opening of Theatre By The Sea (theatrebythesea.com), the landmark 500 seat professional summer theatre and restaurant in Wakefield, RI and the 2010 purchase and re-opening of North Shore Music Theatre (nsmt.org), the 1,500 seat nationally renowned regional theatre in Beverly, MA. He began his career in show business at age 19, leasing and developing movie theaters, including his first multiplex in Quincy, Massachusetts. Before long, he was booking rock shows (Jefferson Starship, Rush) and other types of live entertainment, which eventually led to the presenting and producing of Broadway productions. One such show was an appearance by the legendary mime artist, Marcel Marceau. As president of Broadway Productions, Bill presented national tours such as Annie, Amadeus, Dancin', Peter Pan, The Rocky Horror Show and Mark Twain starring Hal Holbrook, throughout New England including Worcester, Springfield, Portland, Maine and Boston. Throughout his career, Bill has stayed focused on his movie theatre chain having bought, built, owned, operated and sold more than 30 cinemas. His company, Entertainment Cinemas, currently operates seven movie complexes in four states. In 2009, Bill was elected President of the Theatre Owners of New England. Bill's ongoing work with NSMT inspires him to consider acquiring additional performance venues at which he plans to someday share his productions between his theatres. Bill has been named to the North Shore Top 100 by the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, he was recognized by both the Beverly Chamber of Commerce and Salem Chamber of Commerce as Business Person of the Year. He is the recipient of the 2015 Leslie S. Ray Hall of Fame Award, presented by the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce. Bill is a member of the League of Broadway Producers and was involved with the recent revival of Pippin, as well as developing several new musicals. Bill also produces Cape Live!, a summer entertainment series at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center in Hyannis.
Kevin P. Hill (Producing Artistic Director). Born and raised in Waltham, Massachusetts, Kevin began his theatrical career as dancer and actor. He appeared in National Touring companies of Hello, Dolly! with Carol Channing, Leslie Uggams and Michele Lee, Anything Goes and the International Touring Company of A Chorus Line. New York audiences have seen him in the Off-Broadway production of Party. Regional credits as a performer include: West Side Story, Good News! A Chorus Line, My Fair Lady and Marvin in Falsettoland. Kevin has directed and choreographed over 100 productions across America. He has had the privilege of working with such stars as Marin Mazzie, Joanne Worley, Kathleen Turner, Josh Groban, Jonathan Groff and Tony Award winner, Cady Huffman. In New York, he was the assistant to the director of On the Twentieth Century at the New Amsterdam Theatre and assistant to the choreographer on the revival of Guys and Dolls. He directed and choreographed Rodger + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Mamma Mia!, Sunset Boulevard, Jersey Boys, A Christmas Carol, Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, and Sister Act here at NSMT and Kinky Boots,Mamma Mia!, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Sister Act, Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, and Grease at Bill Hanney's Theatre By The Sea in Rhode Island, where he is also Producing Artistic Director. Kevin has been nominated as Best Director/Choreographer for his work on Smokey Joe's Cafe, Rent, The Full Monty, Chicago, and Edwin Drood, and was awarded the NH Theatre Award for Best Choreography for West Side Story at the Papermill Theatre. Kevin has also been awarded Six Broadway World awards and two Motif awards for his productions of Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins and Young Frankenstein. Future projects include an original danced play called Standing Still. As a Professor of Dance, Kevin has been on faculty at Pennsylvania State University, Kansas State University and most recently The Boston Conservatory of Music. Kevin is a proud member of SDC, AEA and Dance Masters of New England, Chapter 5.
Matthew Chappell (Casting Director) is honored to continue working with this remarkable creative team as resident Casting Director and Associate Producer for Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre and resident Casting Director for Theatre By The Sea. An accomplished performer, he is fortunate to have worked all over the world in more than 30 productions, including several shows at NSMT, as lead vocalist in Stephen Schwartz’s Magic To Do for Princess Cruise Lines, and appearances at Feinstein’s/54 Below, The Duplex, Carnegie Hall, and The Metropolitan Room. For many years, Matthew worked as a talent agent, casting associate, and photographer for Heyman Talent Agency, specializing in TV/film, commercials, runway, print and voiceovers. He is a former Associate Producer for Encore International, casting and producing shows for theme parks, cruise ships, and corporate events.
Music Theatre International (MTIShows.com) is one of the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting schools as well as amateur and professional theatres from around the world the rights to perform the largest selection of great musicals from Broadway and beyond. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these shows to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 60,000 theatrical organizations in the U.S. and in over 60 countries worldwide.
Actors' Equity Association (AEA), founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence. www.actorsequity.org
North Shore Music Theatre (NSMT) Since 1955, NSMT has become one of the most attended theatres in New England, with approximately 250,000 patrons annually. With a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, NSMT has received numerous industry awards including Elliot Norton Awards, IRNE Awards, the Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors' Equity, and the Moss Hart Award. NSMT produced the World Premiere of Memphis in 2003, the show went on to win four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Under the new ownership of Bill Hanney in 2010, NSMT continues to annually produce a musical subscription series and an annual production of A Christmas Carol along with celebrity concerts, children's programming, and year-round education programs for all ages.