Little Theatre To Open ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ Production This Week

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre will present “Little Shop of Horrors” over the coming weekends. Performances will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday; Saturday; Friday, Oct. 13; and Saturday, Oct. 14. Matinee performances will be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Sunday, Oct. 15.
Submitted photo

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre will present “Little Shop of Horrors” over the coming weekends. Performances will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday; Saturday; Friday, Oct. 13; and Saturday, Oct. 14. Matinee performances will be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Sunday, Oct. 15. Submitted photo

The Lucille Ball Little Theatre is preparing to show the community at large why buying a plant during a solar eclipse is never a good idea.

The local theater will present its upcoming production of the “Little Shop of Horrors” musical, which kicks off this weekend with 7:30 p.m. performances Friday and Saturday, as well as a 2:30 p.m. matinee.

Based on the 1982 Off-Broadway musical, the production follows a plot similar to that of the 1986 film of the same name but with a far different ending. The musical itself is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film “The Little Shop of Horrors.” The music — composed by Alan Menken in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown — includes several well-known tunes including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown),” “Somewhere That’s Green,” and “Suddenly, Seymour.”

The stage adaptation follows Seymour Krelborn, a meek and dejected assistant at a floral shop, who happens upon a strange plant which he affectionately names “Audrey II” after his crush at the shop. Little does he know that this strange and unusual plant will develop a soulful R&B voice, a potty mouth and an unquenchable thirst for human blood.

As Audrey II grows bigger and meaner, the carnivorous plant promises limitless fame and fortune to Seymour, as long as he continues providing a fresh supply of blood. Just when it’s too late, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s true drive for world-domination.

According to Adam Owens, artistic director of the Little Theatre production, the cast and crew have been in rehearsal and developing the sets for the past month, and things have gone fairly smoothly.

“Rehearsals have been going great. We have a very talented cast, orchestra and crew,” Owens said. “This is kind of our specialty because it’s a musical, and we’re lucky to have a lot of people who have that talent and experience to put on stage. It’s also a very small cast, which is much more manageable and makes for a more intimate show. There’s only about 13 in the cast, including the cast members who aren’t visible to the audience.”

Owens said the biggest challenge the production has faced has been getting the four separate plant props, representing Audrey II’s physical growth throughout the show, stage-ready. The two smaller props will operate in handpuppet fashion, while the larger two puppets will be operated internally by non-visible cast members, who will synchronize the puppets’ movement to an offscreen cast member who will be reading Audrey II’s lines.

“We’ve been putting a lot of time, money and energy into that side of things, because (Audrey II) is kind of the star of the show,” Owens said. “We’re trying to figure out how to operate the puppets and getting the timing down between the puppeteers and the actor who’s doing the voice of the plant.”

Cast members who will appear in the production include: Peter Larson, Lauren Scharf, Steve Wendell, John Pickett, Katie Ryan, Indo Quinones, JoAnn Feher Liffner, Jim Foley, Zander Chase, Victoria Parker, Tony Gelencser, Rachel Ekstrom and Dan Kinney.

In addition to this weekend’s performances, the production will also be staged at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14, as well as in a 2:30 p.m. matinee Sunday, Oct. 15.

Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased by contacting the Little Theatre box office at 483-1095 or online at lucilleballlittletheatre.org/reservations.

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