The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Little Shop preparing to open shop on NE Campus

By Rhiannon Saegert/managing editor

Jason Floyd/The Collegian  Alex Pope plays Seymour, the lead in Little Shop of Horrors opening April 23 on NE Campus. Seymour is the shy florist’s assistant who’s frequently taken advantage of by other characters.
Jason Floyd/The Collegian Alex Pope plays Seymour, the lead in Little Shop of Horrors opening April 23 on NE Campus. Seymour is the shy florist’s assistant who’s frequently taken advantage of by other characters.

A monstrous, man-eating plant will take over the NE Playhouse when theater students perform the dark musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors April 23-26.

The show takes place in a struggling florist’s shop on Skid Row when shrinking violet Seymour Krelborn brings in a strange, unidentified plant, hoping to attract business. Strangely, everyone who sees the plant is completely awestruck, and it becomes an overnight success.

The horrors begin when he discovers the plant feeds on human blood and starts demanding food. As the plant grows, so does its appetite.

Devin Helsel voices the plant, known as Audrey II, while other actors operate a puppet. Everyone needs to stay in sync to keep the plant singing and talking.

“It’s different,” Helsel said. “The difficult part is getting the voice to sound the way it does and make it convincing.”

The hungry plant’s talent for manipulation drives the plot forward as it promises Seymour even more fortune and fame in exchange for human victims.

“He’s evil and very clever, but he’s sort of smooth and cool,” Helsel said. “Nothing really bothers him except when he doesn’t get food.”

Eventually, Seymour strikes a Faustian bargain with the flytrap and disaster ensues.

“He’s very meek, nerdy, hopeless romantic, and he’s desperate,” said Alex Pope, who plays Seymour. “Slightly sadistic, even.”

Jonothan Giraud puppets the giant plant during some scenes. He said the prop was originally much heavier and harder to operate and had to be hollowed out.

“The hardest part is matching [the puppet’s mouth] to the lyrics being sung offstage,” Giraud said.

He also plays Orin Scrivello, whose talent for inflicting pain on people led him to a successful career as a dentist.

“I am a sadistic, perverted, egotistical, maniacal fiend. That’s the best way to describe Orin Scrivello,” Giraud said. “I basically spend all my time on stage trying to make all of the characters and the audience as uncomfortable as possible.”

Giraud said he has a talent for portraying over-the-top psychopaths. As a child, he especially enjoyed doing impressions of The Joker.

“I’ve always been attracted to playing those extreme characters,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun to try and play someone that out there and insane.”

Director Susan Polster said the stage show and film versions of Little Shop are very different.

“The stage musical has several different songs and a completely different ending,” she said. “So come join us, but whatever you do, don’t feed the plants!”

The show will start at 7 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, April 26. Tickets are free to TCC students, faculty and staff, $3 for non-TCC students and senior citizens and $6 for the general public. To reserve tickets, call the NE box office at 817-515-6687.

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