Buena Vista University Theatre will present the musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors this fall. Performances of the spoof of sci-fi movies will be Oct. 26-27 and Nov. 2-3 at Anderson Auditorium on the BVU campus, starting at 8 p.m. and Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.
Dr. Bethany Larson, associate professor of theatre, is director. David Walker, assistant professor of theatre, is designer and technical director. Jerry Bertrand, assistant professor of music, is musical director.
The play tells the story of a down-and out skid row floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination.
The musical is based on a 1960 movie and was one of the longest running Off-Broadway shows. It was also on Broadway for a time and was made into a 1986 film. The play was written by Howard Ashman (book and lyrics) and Alan Menken (music).
Cast members in lead roles: Crystal -- Cindy Barahona, senior art major from Storm Lake.
Ronnette -- Kelsey Davidson, sophomore music education major from Schaller.
Chiffon -- Bonnie Keller, freshman from Sioux City.
Mushnik -- Stephen Condon, sophomore vocal music performance, theatre, and arts management triple major from Barnum.
Seymour -- Taylor Burgraff, senior history major from Fairmont, Minn.
Audrey -- Kylie Peterson, senior music education K-12 and vocal performance double major from Lincoln, Neb.
Orin -- Izaak Plunkett, freshman music production and communications double major from Spirit Lake.
Audrey II voice -- Jacob Pedersen, junior music education major from Manson.
Also in the ensemble: Zachary Schmidt, Kadie Dennison, Dennis Arteaga, Katy Rubino, Seth Mecklenburg, Jarrod Roth, Andrea Nicholson, Nicole Boysen, Alec Sindelar, Arik Ostler. Hannah Anderson, junior arts management theatre major from Boone is the assistant director, and Tyler Klobassa, junior computer science major from Nashua is the stage manager.
Also appearing in the production are Larson's and Walker's children, Beatrice and Dalton Walker, as well as Katrin Musel, daughter of BVU staff members Tom and Donna Musel, playing the roles of "Jacks," "Headline," and "Hopscotch" respectively.
A Scenic Art Residency led by Dana Gloege, from Delloite University in Dallas, Texas, is being offered with the final project focused on painting of scenic pieces for the play. Gloege, who has over 25 years of professional design and scenic art experience, will work with students on a variety of scene painting techniques and creative entrepreneurship.
The art renderings for the musical's scenery, which has a comic book theme, are being provided by Aaron Gillespie, Class of 2002, Iowa City, who has been a co-writer on the Bionic Man comic book series and will eventually take over as sole writer.
"We found out this summer that Aaron was working on the Bionic Man comic book series, and that he would eventually take over its authorship," says Larson. "When we decided on our comic book concept for the musical, Aaron seemed like the perfect person to call on for some collaborative assistance."
Ticket reservations for the play can be made online at www.bvu.edu/tickets or the theatre hotline at 712-749-2211. Tickets will be available at the Information Desk in the Siebens Forum starting Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The play is considered suitable for all audiences except very young children.