Costumes - Walk Around Parade Costumes & Mascots - Michael Baroto    Puppets  - Michael Baroto   Dolls - Michael Baroto   Designs - Michael Baroto   What's New Blog - Michael Baroto

Little Shop of Horrors

In 1986, I got the opportunity to meet Bob Fletcher, the Costumer Designer for the Star Trek movies, at Paramount Studios, on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. He was just wrapping up work on his third installment in the series ‘The Wrath of Kahn’. Our meeting was set up as an introductory one and he was quite impressed with my portfolio*. As it turned out, he had a project in mind that he thought I’d be perfect for. That project  turned out to be the ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

Bob was the production designer for the Howard Ashman/Alan Menken musical that would make its debut at the Santa Barbara Theatre Festival. And although he had already secured a supervisor for the project, he wanted my expertise on board to help guide and create the four puppet versions of Audrey II, the carnivorous plant.

With roughly three and a half weeks to finish the work our 'Little Shop' crew assembled in an old warehouse in downtown LA. All of the four versions of Audrey II were free formed using various grades of polyurethane sheet foam which left it light-weight and breathable. The larger pods, number 3 and 4, were reinforced with the addition of a light weight aluminum frame.

The Audrey II crew pictured above, clockwise, from the top are: John Harrington: Armature/Latex Technician, Cil: Draper/Seamstress, Tina Hatainan: Project Manager/Painter,  Cil's assistant, and myself. 

 The show starred: Lorna Luft, Adrian Zmed, and Patrick Cassidy. I was offered the part of puppeteer in the show but graciously handed it over to a young intern on our production team, Erica Zaffarano. She did a great job too.

*Every assignment I received was handed to me right at the portfolio stage. The importance of a good portfolio is essential.  Make sure your portfolio is clean , concise, and honest. 

Back To Credits