By Randi Somers
Pier One Theatre brings “A Little Shop of Horrors,” starring some of Homer’s favorite performers and some newcomers, to the stage two more weekends.
The rock musical comedy by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman is about a hapless florist who inadvertently raises a plant that feeds on human blood and graduates to human flesh.
Written in the late 1980s, the music is in the styles of the early 1960s, rock and roll, doo-wop and early motown.
Voice, played by Johnny Bushell, recalls a time when the human race “suddenly encountered a deadly threat to its very existence.“ A trio of 1960s street urchins, Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon (Maria Fourier, Carolyn Norton and Mindy Parks) sets the scene and comments on the action throughout the show like a Greek chorus. Seymour Krelborn (Jody Gaines) is a poor young man, an orphan living in the slum where the Skid Row Florists shop is located. Audrey (Maura Gibson) is a pretty blonde with a fashion sense that leans towards the tacky. They lament their stations in life and seek a life away from the urban blight. They are co-workers at Mushnik’s Skid Row Florists, a run-down flower shop owned and operated by the cranky Mr. Mushnik (Peter Norton). Seymour has recently obtained a mysterious plant that looks like a large venus fly trap. While he was browsing the wholesale flower district, a sudden eclipse of the sun occurred and when the light returned, the weird plant had appeared. Seymour is secretly in love with Audrey and names the plant Audrey II in her honor.
Stage Director, Lance Petersen, Music Director Julie Smith and Choreographer Breezy Berryman expertly stage the play. Actors are Peter Norton, Mr. Mushnik; Jody Gaines, Seymour; Maura Gibson, Audrey; Doo-wop Greek Chorus, Maria Fourier, Carolyn Norton and Mindy Parks; Craig Phillips, Orin the dentist; Rachel Lindamood, Audrey 2 puppeteer; Johnny Bushell, Audrey 2 voice; Christa Collier, Mrs. Luce; Margaret Quarton, Skip Snip and James Hornaday in three roles, a wino, customer and A Voice Like God comprise the star-studded cast. In addition to his role on stage, Johnny B joins Julie Smith for duet keyboards.
The play will be performed at Pier One Theatre July 7,8,9,10 and 14,15,16. Friday and Saturday the show starts at 8:15 p.m. and Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $15. Advance tickets are available at The Bookstore and Etude Studio. Phone 235-7333 for reservations.
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