'Little Shop of Horrors' rooted in '50s sci-fi

rehearsal imageSpring, romance and danger are all in the air for characters inhabiting the upcoming production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” The 1950s science-fiction spoof will open April 21.

In the musical production in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre, a strange plant gives Seymour, the nerdy Faust of a hero, just the angle he needs to romance Audrey, the girl of his dreams.

Living in the basement of his employer’s flower shop, Seymour questions his futile, small life. Along comes his troubled, beautiful co-worker Audrey, and the two dream about how to build the picture-perfect 1950s postcard life. 

Seymour struggles as the plant’s bizarre appetite grows along with its popularity. Seymour must choose whether to commit murder to keep the plant, and his connection to the lovely Audrey, or to end the madness before it’s too late.

Directed by Jonel Langenfeld-Rial of the theatre faculty, “Little Shop of Horrors” satirizes science-fiction B movies, musical comedies and even the Faust legend of a man selling his soul to achieve success. 

Drawing upon recent sci-fi movies such as “The Matrix” and “A.I.,” Langenfeld-Rial has been inspired by various perceptions of what the future means. “What would it be like if some of the things in sci-fi movies really happened?” she asked rhetorically. “The design team has contrived theatrical concepts around what the future meant to people of the ‘50s.”

While thoughts may be to the future, the music score remains true to the original off-Broadway production. “You’ll hear songs in a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll doo-wop style,” explained the production’s musical director, Todd Graber.

A preview performance will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20, with all seats $6.

“Little Shop of Horrors” will open at 8 p.m. Friday, April 21, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. Additional performances will begin at 8 p.m. April 22 and 29 with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, April 30. 

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and children, and $7 for SUNY Oswego students.

For reservations, call the Tyler box office at 312-2141 or e-mail tickets@oswego.edu.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Plant asset—Audrey (Megan McGarvey), Seymour (Steve Mazzoccone) and Mr. Mushnik (Brian Heyman) marvel at a mysterious plant in this rehearsal image from the upcoming SUNY Oswego production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

(Posted: Mar 29, 2006)

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