2022-23 season

2022-23 season

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Barry Cutler is a Cut-Up as Money-Loving Mr. Mushnik

"OY VEY!"  Barry Cutler IS Mr. Mushnik!
He’s kvetchy and cranky, sprinkles in Yiddish and is skittish about his neighborhood, but the bottom line is that Mr. Mushnik is a pragmatist:  If there’s money to be made for his little flower shop, all bets are off.   Barry Cutler plays Mr. Mushnik, the owner of the flower shop for which Little Shop of Horrors is named.  It is a role that Barry was born to play.  As he says: “I am constantly accused of playing "Jewish" even when its not required for a role.  Well this time the character is hard-wired for it! I get to say "Oy Vey", wave my arms, rattle off some Yiddish and flail around the stage flashing various expressions honed from years of watching my Jewish relatives, "Seinfeld" episodes, and Woody Allen films.” 

Barry’s favorite part of the show is performing “shtick” in Mushnik & Son, his duet with Seymour, played by Jason Wilhoite. Barry recalls that he and Jason  “previously sang hilarious tunes in Guys -N- Dolls and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, but I think Mushnik & Son may just top them both.”  While the singing comes naturally, Barry’s biggest challenge has been dancing the Tango:  “I'm not a graceful dancer…. Luckily my dear friend Allison Boufford (choreographer, also Chiffon) is kind enough to have the patience of Job, and experienced enough to be a terrific teacher.  Hats off to Jason for enduring my kicks, stepping on his feet and clutching his shoulders for dear life!”

Barry speaks glowingly of the Little Shop directors:  “Rachael Rose (Director/Music Director) and Jose Reyes (Asst. Music Director) are a perfect team to teach us the tricky harmonies. They are longtime friends who seem to be in sync on everything.  I'm particularly pleased to see our young Assistant Director Allie Shapiro progress at the Barn. She also doubles as stage manager. Allie came to the Farmington Players when she was 12 and now she's about to graduate high school. She has shined both on and off stage and it's refreshing to see how she's handled more responsibility with every show.”

He is equally complimentary of his cast mates: “Taylor Alfano is astounding as Audrey. I love listening to her sing.  Gary Weinstein is hilarious in his roles as the masochist dentist's patient and a skid row wino.  Maggie Gilkes and Walter Middlebrook put me in stitches with their performances as Mrs. Luce and Bernstein.  Additionally, Blythe Philp and Laurel Stroud are excellent in their parts as customers and winos. … Allison Boufford, Amy Poirier and Katie Aumann are excellent playing the Greek Chorus. They sing numerous songs in perfect harmony and don't miss a dance step.  Jason is always a pleasure to work with. His singing is captivating and I love seeing him create Seymour's character. I also get a kick out of Tim Timmer's take on the sadistic dentist.”

Last but not least, Barry is amazed by the two guys who play the plant, Jarrod Henderson (Voice) and Michael Rose (puppeteer): “It's an incredibly difficult job to operate the beast and stay in sync, but those two manage to pull it off and provide marvelous entertainment.”

Barry has been a barn member since Guy -N-Dolls in 2006 when he played Benny Southstreet. He last appeared on the Barn stage playing 13 characters in
Leaving Iowa.  He’s been handling publicity for the Barn since 2008, and his next project is Producer of "Avenue Q" this summer.

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