The cast of Little Shop of Horrors kicked off their premiere show with what some students called “an incredibly chilling performance” at The Grand Theatre. The talent of the actors in this play was astounding, to say the least.
“We are so proud to call The Grand Theatre the ‘community’s professional theater’ where we bring local artists, directors and designers to help produce the amazing [theatrical shows,]” says Interim Director of The Grand Theatre, Seth Miller.
The Grand Theatre hosts their own auditions, inviting individuals outside of the SLCC community to participate as well. This play is Broadway material, featuring actors from The University of Utah as well as people with extensive theater backgrounds from throughout Utah.
The process for preparing Little Shop of Horrors was to hold auditions of 100 people, including singing and dancing, after which the staff narrowed down the cast to only 16 individuals. The remaining 16 cast members must go through four weeks of stage rehearsal in the Annex Building where the cast goes through voice training and dance choreography on a stage.
“During stage rehearsal, Jacob Eltzroth, who manipulates the plant (Audrey II), goes through intensive training to make Audrey II move fluently,” says Joe Killian, Operation Coordinator. “The cast then has only one week of stage training in the actual Grand Theatre.”
For those of you unfamiliar with the play, or even the Frank Oz film from 1986, the setup is as follows.
Mr. Mushnik, played by Kim Blackett, owns a flower shop that is “truly horrifying because of the blood thirsty plant growing inside of it,” says Gary Montgomery, a student at SLCC. Seymour Krelborn (played by Trevor Dean), Audrey Fulquard (played by Elizabeth Summerhays), and Mr. Mushnik work at the flower shop on Skid Row, which has been deserted and become the street where the homeless and uneducated gather.
Nothing good ever happens on Skid Row, or so they thought.
Seymour starts to experiment with inventing a new plant. The plant that Seymour comes up with is so unique that it creates an overwhelming amount of attention for the flower shop.
Seymour names the plant Audrey II (voiced by David Hanson) after Audrey, who he is infatuated with. Audrey II created so much new business for the Mushnik flower shop that Seymour was featured on television, the radio, and had articles written about him and Audrey II in the paper.
Audrey II, unbeknownst to everyone but Seymour, feeds on human blood. In order to keep Audrey II alive, Seymour pricks his finger for little drops of blood, but the more blood Seymour gives Audrey II, the bigger it grows and the louder it screams, “Feed me!”
Before long, it begins to take more than pricked fingers to keep Audrey II satisfied, as Seymour is made to contemplate much darker means with which to feed the hungry plant that has been instrumental to his new-found success.
Little Shop of Horrors will be continuing its run at The Grand Theatre at South City Campus through Saturday, Nov. 1.