The artistic director of the Cardinal Stage Company, Randy White, has had a long relationship with Ashman and Menken’s doo wop musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors. “Little Shop was the show that first got me exited about musicals,” he says. When the company decided to put on the show, White was thrilled.
The Process Of Casting
Pulling together the forces required to produce the show led those involved down a number of paths, some pretty straight; others more twisted.
Singer Terrilyn Dennie‘s path was the latter. A veteran of IU’s Soul Revue and the African American Choral Ensemble, she was brought into the mix by James Mumford, the former director of the ensemble.
Mumford knew that IU graduate student Justin Merrick was helping with casting. “He’s actually the voice for Audrey II, the show’s man-eating plant,” Dennie explains. “Dr. Mumford called Justin and told him that he thought they ought to listen to me. So Justin called me and we got together. I was pretty nervous but he helped me get ready.”
“I Don’t Care If She Can Move…”
At the audition Dennie had to perform for White, music director Eric Anderson, Jr. and choreographer Esther Widlanski. Widlanski says, “She just blew us away with her voice and singing.
Within the first few notes, Randy turned to me and said, ‘I don’t care if she can move, we’re casting her. Fortunately, she’s just fine with the movements that we’ve worked up for the show.”
Terrilyn Dennie was cast as Crystal in Little Shop’s trio.
Little Shop of Horrors
by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Directed by Randy White, choreography by Esther Widlanski & music direction by Eric Anderson, Jr. (Cardinal Stage Company).
John Waldron Arts Center
April 30 - May 16, 2010