The past three shows for the theatre department have not only been huge successes in terms of ticket sales and quality, but they have redefined the department.
Their “Season of Classics,” has now arrived at the grand finale: “Little Shop of Horrors”
Dallas Henry, assistant professor and director of the show, seems to be up to the task of wowing audiences and raising the bar even higher.
“With this show, the whole concept has been to be larger-than-life,” Henry said. “It has to take over the audience and take control.”
With this larger-than-life set, Henry wants the audience to really feel like they are in New York during the 1960s.
The first couple rows of seats are going to be taken out for the set to engulf the audience, and the band is going to be playing on a scaffolding, being a part of the New York scene, making the show more lively and energetic. There will also be trash surrounding the sets for the streets of Skid Row.
Even if you’ve seen the show before, there will be a few differences from this production.
“I’ve added some extra dance numbers,” Henry said. “With Mushnik, I’ve added a tango, which is not in there, which is fun and exciting.”
Probably the biggest and most iconic part of the show is the plant, Audrey II.
Henry was very insistent on getting the perfect plant to use in the show.
“If the plant isn’t very good, then you don’t have a production” he added.
The plant had to be ordered and shipped all the way from New York. Standing at 6-foot, the plant also costs quite a hefty amount.
“Little Shop is done all the time…and I don’t know how because it’s very expensive to produce. And most of that is the plant,” Henry said.
Morgan Breckenridge, who plays Audrey in the production, shares a love for the show and the ride she has went on for being a part of it.
“Little Shop has been exhausting, rewarding, and a lot of fun,” Breckenridge said. “I feel like I’ve really grown. Especially as an actor.”
Being more of a vocal performer, the entire rehearsal process has taught Breckenridge and all of the other music majors in the show a lot.
“The music majors are doing great musically but we’re working on the acting side,” Henry added, “ and with acting (students), we’ll work on the musical side.”
With it being Breckenridge’s first time being directed by Henry, it’s evident that the cast of the show enjoys working with him.
“He motivates us. He takes it seriously so it makes us take it seriously,” Breckenridge added.
“Little Shop of Horrors” opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19 in Potter Hall Theatre and runs through the 29, with 3 p.m. matinees on April 21, 22, 28, and 29. Tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for faculty and $8 for all students. All tickets can be picked up at the box office or online at mwsutix.com.
With the 1986 film having such a large cult-following, Henry insists that you see this theatrical version. Saying that it does relish in the campy, B-movie style that the film held but still has new elements brought to the table.
“It’s different than the movie. The ending is different.”