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IPFW opens up its Little Shop of Horrors

By Michael Summers


Fort Wayne Reader


So much of life is about choices, the decisions we make in order to fulfill our long-term goals and dreams. Do you turn down the ice-cream cone in order to meet your fitness goals? Do you put away a little bit of your paycheck every few weeks in order to build a financial nest egg? Do you watch “just one more” episode of Breaking Bad, or do you turn in for the recommended eight hours of snooze time?

And do you feed people to a giant carnivorous plant from outer-space in order to get the girl of your dreams? No? Well, what if they’re kinda bad people? She is the girl of your dreams, after all…

That’s the delimma that hapless and hopeless florist shop clerk Seymour Krelborn must tackle in IPFW’s production of the classic musical Little Shop of Horrors, which begins its run on April 20. Based on a 1960 Roger Corman movie, the musical version of Little Shop of Horrors made its stage debut in 1982 and went on to become one of the most successful comedy musicals of all time, spawning a hit movie in 1986.

The (ahem) budding romance between Seymour (played by Ethan Lichte) and dream-girl Audrey (Megan Buss) is the heart of the story, as Seymour going to ever greater lengths to win Audrey’s love and affection…

But anyone familiar with Little Shop of Horrors knows who the real star of the show is. Audrey II, the giant, blood-thirsty, plant from outer space, belts out a couple of the show’s best tunes (“Feed Me (Git It)” and “Suppertime”) and delivers the show’s signature catch-phrase — “Feed me, Seymour! Feed me, now!” He’s Seymour’s alter-ego, pushy and aggressive where Seymour is indecisive, and unapologetic about getting what he wants.

Bringing Audrey II to life on stage is a challenge for any production, and typically requires more than one person to make it happen. In IPFW’s production, the Cameron Tolliver handles puppeteering duties while Terel Lynn provides the voice. The four stages of Audrey II you’ll see on the stage at IPFW come courtesy of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. The music in Little Shop of Horrors borrows from the original movie’s vintage — early 60s doo-wop, girl group, and rock n’ roll — and Audrey II is the show’s R&B belter. Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops played him in the stage production and the 1986 movie, if that gives you an idea.

A theater season from IPFW’s College of Visual and Performing Arts always includes a big production musical. Little Shop of Horrors is more well-known than some of the school’s past productions, like Urinetown or The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, but Little Shop shares an irreverent sensibility with those lesser-known works, along with a single-minded mission to entertain its audience above all else.

And it’s easily funniest, funnest, and most tuneful story about the end of civilization that you’ll ever see.


IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts presents Little Shop of Horrors
Thursdays, April 20 and 27 at 8 PM
Fridays, April 21 and 28 at 8 PM
Saturdays, April 22 and 29 at 8 PM
Sunday, April 23 at 2 PM — Sign language interpreted performance

Williams Theatre – IPFW North Campus
2101 E. Coliseum Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN 46805

Tickets: $5 IPFW Students/ High School Students/Children under 18; $18 Adults; $16 Seniors/Faculty/Staff/Alumni; $14 Groups of 10 or more; $14 Other College Students with ID

Children Under 6 Will Not Be Admitted

Purchase Tickets Online — ipfw.edu/tickets
Purchase Tickets by Phone or in Person — 260-481-6555; TTD: 260-481-4105

Box office located in the Gates Athletic Center Room 126, open Monday - Friday 12:30 - 6:30 p.m.

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©2018 Fort Wayne Reader. All rights Reserved.