‘Horrors’ make their way to the stage
As the opening date approaches for Chadron State College’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” the real horror is preparing for such a huge musical.
However, the cast and crew are eager for a good show. With the set prepared and an excited cast, it’s hard not to look forward to the second musical the theatre program has put on in two years.
“Little Shop of Horrors” is a musical based on the 1960 movie by Roger Corman. The off-Broadway show, with music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, was first performed in 1982. The musical was then adapted into a movie directed by Frank Oz in 1986.
“Little Shop” is the story of Seymour Krelborn, a young man working on “Skid-Row” in a flower shop. One day, Seymour happens upon an interesting plant, who attracts customers, but happens to prefer a diet of blood and flesh. The plant promises Seymour fame and fortune in return for human bodies to feed on.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the play is that it is a comedy, but a very dark one.
“It’s definitely different from the movie,” Rebecca French, senior of Alliance, who plays Chiffon, said. “It’s a family-friendly show in that it has the love story and the music and toward the end it gets dark.”
“The doo-wop girls are singing about murder and it’s ridiculous. The music lightens it up,” Lauren Morris, sophomore of Denver, who plays Crystal, said.
The play is also interesting for the plant itself, known as Audrey II. There are four puppets used for the plant, rented from Intermission Productions and Puppet Factory out of Tracy, Calif., according to Scott Cavin, assistant professor of visual and performing arts.
“You have to create an atmosphere and a mood that the puppet can thrive in, but it also has to be in a place where it doesn’t hinder anything,” Cavin said.
James Steele, freshman of Lincoln, provides the plant’s voice. Rather than being on stage, Steele voices the plant from the booth.
“I want to do voices for characters in animated movies, so it’s kind of prepping me for it,” Steele said.
“If I had to choose a favorite character, it would probably be the plant and James’ impact on the plant,” French said. “He’s done a really great job.”
Meanwhile onstage, Michael Kruger, senior of Gordon, controls Audrey II. “It’s different from other shows in the fact that I’m not actually onstage, I’m inside a puppet onstage, so it’s completely different acting. I have to act and move in ways to make the plant believable.”
“One of the things that’s nice with the company is that the puppets are built to be expressive,” Cavin said.