Everyone needs to eat – but what happens when a mysterious bloodthirsty plant starts demanding co-workers for supper?
Far from scary, “Little Shop of Horrors” will make you laugh and sing. The play is the fall production of the Music and Theatre Department at Walters State Community College. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Nov. 15-17 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for students.
The show marks the directorial debut of T.J. Kent, instructor of theatre.
“This production allows many people to be involved in the production, and that’s why we chose it. We also wanted a musical so we could spotlight many of our talented vocalists. This show hasn’t been performed by any of the local companies recently. Plus, when I mentioned it to students, most were familiar and excited at the chance to do it,” Kent said.
The story centers around shy florist Seymour and the man-eating plant he names Audrey II after his secret love. T production is reminiscent of a 1960’s B-movie.
“The audience really gets attached to these characters,” Kent said.
Kent can’t say enough good things about his young cast. Some have had experience at Walters State and through other companies. Others are brand new to the stage.
“Everybody is working hard, but we’re having so much fun, too. In the weeks of rehearsal, I’ve also seen many of the cast members grown. Several of them came in having never done any theatre. I am excited to watch their confidence level grow,” Kent said.
Nathan McGhee brings an excitable, nerdish Seymour to life. McGhee will be familiar to Walters State theatre fans, having had roles in “A midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Rabbit Hole.”
The female lead, Seymour’s love interest Audrey, is played by Hannah Corlew. This marks the sophomore’s theatrical stage debut. Corlew is active in Walters State’s choral programs and was encouraged to audition by Laura Ritter, assistant dean of Humanities and director of choral programs. Her twin brother, Evan Corlew, will also be making his stage debut filling multiple parts: Bernstein, Skip Snip and Patrick Martin.
Kent promises that audiences will not be disappointed in Audrey II, the main character and large-scale puppet. The plant, resembling an overgrown Venus Fly-Trap. Audrey II is actually a large puppet. Tyler Vaughn manipulates the puppet while Luke Walker provides the voice.
“Little Shop of Horrors” has enjoyed several runs on Broadway and many professional off-Broadway tours.
Other cast members include Nicki Doyal, who audiences will remember from her outstanding debut performance as Clarissa in last year’s “Little Women.” Taylor Ferrell plays Chiffon. This is her Walters State debut, but high school credits include “Into the Woods” and “Oklahoma!” Detroit native Michael Klimczad will make his musical debut as Orin. Elizabeth Choate Miller, cast as floral shop owner Mushnik, is also making her Walters State theatre debut. Her experience, though, is vast including “Wizard of Oz,” “Little Women,” “MacBeth” and “Children of a Lesser God.”
For reservations, call the college’s “Division of Humanities” at (423) 585-6922 Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tickets may also be available at the door.