The horror! 

A plant with a thirst for blood, a man who sells his soul. And they call this a musical?

Yes, they do, and it’s a delightful musical at that. The Armstrong Atlantic State University Masquers are staging Little Shop of Horrors, the Broadway hit that is based on a horror movie.

Pamela Z. Sears is directing. “It’s based on a 1960 film that Roger Corman wrote, a non-musical film,” she says.

“This show has a little bit of everything,” Sears says. “Musically, we will have a band onstage that is composed of faculty, staff and students.”

There will be a variety of music, including rock and roll, 50s doo-wop, ballads and gospel. “It’s a lot of fun to attack from a performance perspective,” Sears says.

“In terms of literature, it’s composed of a lot of different inspirations,” she says. “There are elements of classic Greek drama in a chorus that serves two purposes. The chorus interacts with the other actors and also sings directly to the audience.”

There also are classic Hollywood horror film elements. “There is a reference to the Faust legend,” Sears says.

Seymour Krelbourn, a meek Skid Row florist, is in love with a woman named Audrey who doesn’t know about Seymour’s’ interest in her. To win her love, he makes a pact with a strange exotic plant.

The plant feeds on human blood. In exchange for Seymour providing food for it, the plant, known as Audrey II, makes him rich and famous.

Local businesses have pitched in to help the Masquers stage the play. Patterson Dental Supply helped them create a dentist’s office for one scene, and Harley-Davidson of Savannah is supplying a motorcycle for another.

“It is wonderful to get support like that from the community,” Sears says. “It instills the idea that the arts are supported on the Southside.”

The cast is composed entirely of theater arts majors. Brett Best plays Seymour.

The role of Audrey II is a bit complicated. “It takes two performers, one to do the voice, the other a puppeteer,” Sears says.

The plant grows throughout the course of the story, and is seen at four different sizes. “We actually looked at design plans for building Audrey II, but we rented a plant,” Sears says.

Arron Momon is the voice of Audrey II, while Maureen Yasko is the puppeteer behind the plant’s movements. They must work consistently to pull the collaboration off and make Audrey II “real.”

“They have a really good chemistry,” Sears says. “They have worked really hard to get it going.

“She recorded his voice so she would know how he times his lines,” Sears says. “He’s offstage, watching her every move.”

There is a lot of action onstage and a lot of scenery to coordinate. “We are working on a relatively small stage in Jenkins Theater,” Sears says. “We have a lot that we are putting on stage for the show. It is both exciting and challenging.”

The excitement will be carried out to the lobby of Jenkins Theater as the AASU Department of Plant Operations sets up their own “Little Shop” to sell plants during intermission and after the performances. All plant sale proceeds will benefit the AASU Arboretum Project, but sorry, no man-eating plants will be available for sale.

“It was the product of a brainstorm among the faculty,” Sears says. “Plant Operations at Armstrong does a great job with the landscaping. We said, ‘Why don’t we team up?’”

The AASU campus covers 250 acres. More than 100 species of trees and more than 200 species of shrubs and other wood plants have been planted and maintained by Plant Operations.

“They’ve got some really beautiful plants that will be available for sale,” Sears says. “It will be a nice addition to the production.”


Little Shop of Horrors will be presented Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 and Oct. 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. in AASU’s Jenkins Theater. Advance tickets are $14 general admission, $12 seniors/ military/non-AASU students and $5 for AASU faculty, staff and students. At the door, tickets will be $16 general and $14 seniors/military/non-AASU. Remaining tickets will be made available at the box office one hour before the show begins. Advance tickets are available in the AASU Fine Arts Box Office. For information, call 927-5381.


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Linda Sickler

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