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Published: Thursday, 7/7/2011

Musicals on theater menus in Tiffin and Huron

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Appearing in the Huron Playhouse production of 'A Little Night Music' are: back row from left, Caitlin Hamm, Alexandra Spieth, Rachel Mulcahy, Geoff Stephenson, Chris Conley, Brittan Kvitko, and John Glann. Front row from left: Steve Russell and Cassie Battiste. Appearing in the Huron Playhouse production of 'A Little Night Music' are: back row from left, Caitlin Hamm, Alexandra Spieth, Rachel Mulcahy, Geoff Stephenson, Chris Conley, Brittan Kvitko, and John Glann. Front row from left: Steve Russell and Cassie Battiste.
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Romance and horror, both set to music, hit two regional stages this week.

In Tiffin, the Ritz Players present the dark musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors, and in Huron, the Huron Playhouse prepares A Little Night Music.

Little Shop of Horrors is the tale of Seymour Krelborn, an assistant at a skid-row flower shop, who is in love with his co-worker, Audrey, who is in love with Orin, a dentist. Discovering an exotic plant, Seymour christens it Audrey II, after his would-be sweetheart, and it grows into a bad-tempered, foul-mouthed creature with an insatiable hunger. It offers Seymour fame, fortune, and Audrey's love, if only he will keep feeding it.

With a book, lyrics, and music by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, Little Shop of Horrors is based on a 1960 film by Roger Corman.

For the Tiffin production, directed by Jim Cook of Sycamore, Ohio, the cast features Eric Hertenstein of Findlay as Seymour, Kayla Haase of Fremont as Audrey, Adam Cox of Wakeman as Orin, Rick Frederick of Tiffin as Mushnik, the shop owner, and Michael Strong of Tiffin as Audrey II.

Also in the cast are Brandon Allamong, Mandy Bour, Maya Brown, Dalva Church, Scott Edmondson, Ann Gillig, Claire Glover, Alycia Harrison, Macey Heslet, Seth Innis, Sandy Kimmel, Julia Lewis, Gabrielle Mitchell, Nathan Morton, Steph Osborn, Jazmine Shaw, Monica Siesel, Jacob Simon, Steven Simpkins, Cheyane Thacker, and Lynne Wagner.

Greg Ramsdell is the music director, and Laura Warren is the choreographer.

"Little Shop of Horrors" is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and July 16 and 2 p.m. July 17 in the Ritz Theatre, 30 South Washington St., Tiffin. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Information: 419-448-8544, ext. 4 or ritztheatre.org.

Huron show

Even as the Huron Playhouse presents Cheaper by the Dozen, its company is rehearsing Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, which opens Tuesday.

Inspired by Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night, A Little Night Music is set in Sweden as the 19th century nears its end. Characters move in and out of each other's orbit, some seeking love, others passion, still others the chance to revisit memories.

Among the key characters are Desiree Armfelt, a once-prominent actress who now performs at smaller venues, and Frederik Egerman, Desiree's former lover, who has taken a young trophy wife very protective of her virginity. Desiree and Frederik renew their acquaintance and realize they still love each other, but circumstances (of their own making) will keep them apart, leading to the show's most well-known song, "Send in the Clowns."

Jim Williams of Winona, Minn., directs a cast that comprises Chris Conley of Chicago as Desiree; Geoff Stephenson of Huron as Fredrik; Alexandra Spieth of Nashville as Madame Armfeldt; Cassie Battiste of Huron as Fredrika Armfeldt; Steve Russell of Buffalo as Henrik Egerman; Rachel Mulcahy of Syracuse, N.Y., as Anne Egerman; Caitlin Hamm of Northfield, Ohio, as Petra; John Glann of Huron as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm, and Brittany Kvitko of Philadelphia as Countess Charlotte Malcolm.

"Cheaper by the Dozen" continues through Saturday, and "A Little Night Music" opens Tuesday and runs through July 16 in the Huron Playhouse in McCormick School, 325 Ohio St., Huron, Ohio, about 65 miles southeast of Toledo. Tickets are $16 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $12 for children 11 and younger. Information: 419-433-4744.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com or 419-724-6130.



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