JANUARY 15, 2014

Desert Foothills Theater presents Little Shop of Horrors Jan. 17 - 26

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SCOTTSDALE – We’ve all killed our share of house plants. But what if the plant returned the favor? Desert Foothills Theater (DFT), a division of the Foothills Community Foundation, presents Little Shop of Horrors running Fri., Jan. 17 through Sun., Jan. 26, 2014 in the Black Box Theatre of Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center, 33606 N. 60th Street, in North Scottsdale.
Directed by Dale Nakagawa with musical direction by Jen Whiting, Little Shop of Horrors tells the story of Seymour Krelborn, an orphan, loser and nebbish. His dead-end job in a skid-row flower shop is enlivened only by his love for the beautiful Audrey, seemingly destined to remain unrequited. Then one day at the wholesale flower market, after a mysterious solar eclipse, Seymour takes home a very special plant, which he names Audrey II. The plant grows, sings and has very unusual ... appetites.

Nakagawa said he jumped at the opportunity to direct the cast of 17 teenage actors in DFT’s production.

“Little Shop of Horrors is one of the most fun musicals out there. From the sardonic, man-eating plant, to the Greek Chorus of Doo-Wop girls to the brilliantly textured, funny yet touching story - what's there not to love?” he said.

Audience members familiar with the musical will get a refreshing new look at the show. “Some parts have been re-imagined in new ways and others have been expanded. The overall production has been drawn back toward its roots in 1960s B-movie mania while keeping the veneer of the Broadway musical. It truly will be fun for the whole family,” he said.

One of the biggest challenges of directing the show involves bringing a gigantic puppet plant to life.

“Much of staging revolves around how people interact with each other, so we try to treat the puppet as just another character, yet we are unable to move the plant as we would other types of puppets. Mason Reeves, who voices the puppet, needs to bring even more energy, inflection and meaning to his lines so that we can hear his interaction rather than see it,” Nakagawa said.
The most unique element to DFT’s production involves casting a female actor in the role of the flower shop owner, Mr. – now Mrs. – Mushnik.

“We did have boys who auditioned who could have played the role but I felt that Becca Bauer brought a unique quality to the role that is fantastically fun to watch,” he said.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. A special 2 p.m. performance featuring a Q&A after the show will take place on Sat., Jan. 25. Tickets range from $15-$21 for adults and $11-$16 for youth and students. Group sale discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Visit www.dftheater.org or call 480-488-1981.