Thursday, March 10, 2016

Opening Tonight: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Community Players

There's an interesting subset of the musical comedy world that puts horror, science fiction, rock and pop music together with a twisted sense of humor and oddball characters as well as various stripes of aliens, the undead, green slime, and the occasional leather jacket and motorcycle. Rocky Horror, Urinetown, Batboy, Evil Dead: The Musical, Zombie Prom...  There are a bunch of them, but one of the best-known examples of this phenomenon is Little Shop of Horrors.

Little Shop has a situation more recognizable than most, at least at first. Sweet, schlubby Seymour Krelborn slogs away in a low-rent flower shop on Skid Row, dreaming of the day he can get closer to Audrey, his lovely co-worker. Hard-luck Audrey frequently shows up for work with a black eye or broken bone, given to her by her sadistic boyfriend, Orin, a dentist with a real talent for causing pain. It's only when Seymour discovers a fabulous, extra-terrestrial plant during a solar eclipse -- a plant that's puny at first, but thrives once it's fed blood and parts of people -- that Seymour starts to turn around the fortunes of Mushnik's Skid Row Florist and impress Audrey, as well as get rid of the dentist threatening them both. When evil Orin becomes plant food and Audrey admits her love for Seymour, it's a win-win, right? Well, except for that hungry plant, still demanding to be fed.

The Little Shop score was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman, a duo you may know from the songs in Disney films like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, and it's every bit as delightful, bouncy and snarky as you might expect, with a soaring love song called "Suddenly Seymour;" a Motown-y girl group that serves as a Greek chorus singing about "Skid Row;" and the show's "I want" song, "Somewhere That's Green," about the suburban greenery Audrey envisions for herself far away from her real hard-scrabble life.

The Community Players' take on Little Shop of Horrors opens tonight with a preview where you are invited to pay whatever strikes your fancy, followed by performances at regular ticket prices March 11 and 12; 17, 18 and 19; and 24, 25 and 26 at 7:30 pm, and March 13 and 20 at 2:30 pm.

For Community Players, Chris Terven plays Seymour, while Aimee Kerber is his Audrey, Scott Myers is Mr. Mushnik, the owner of Skid Row Florists, Alex Knightwright plays Orin Scrivello DDS, and George Jackson III and Joe McCauley share responsibility for Audrey II, the bloodthirsty plant, with Jackson providing the voice and McCauley pulling its strings. Narrators Crystal, Chiffon and Ronnette are played (and sung) by Marita Landreth, Barbara Bouboutsis and Fania Bourn. Others in the ensemble include Wendi Ayers, Darlene Lloyd, Meghan McGuire, Bruce Parrish, Janel Scott, Erica Sommers and Liam Wheeler.

For more information, click here, or try this page if you are ready to buy tickets. You may also contact the Community Players box office at 309-663-2121.

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