"Little Shop of Horrors," a show produced by the James Street Players and performed at the James Street Theatre at the United Methodist Church, will have its final performances on Friday, May 20 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, May 21, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 at the door or online.
Patch spoke with the play's director, Carolyn Cavanaugh, about this fun and lively show.
Patch: How does it feel to bring this play to Babylon?
Carolyn Cavanaugh: “It’s so exciting, one of the best things we’ve done. There’s an insanely talented cast of eight, who act and sing their hearts out. I’m a lucky director.”
Patch: Besides the love story about two people, Seymour and Audrey, “Little Shop of Horrors” features a plant in a flowershop that grows bigger by eating humans. How was the plant prop constructed?
Cavanaugh: “The plant, named ‘Audrey Two,’ uses four props. The first two are small hand puppets. The third and fourth are much bigger, about four and five feet tall, for when Audrey Two has grown. We rented those from a local theater. They're controlled by a puppeteer.”
Patch: A show like this must have special challenges?
Cavanaugh: “Yes! Because the plant prop was a rental, we could only have it for a short period of time. So ninety percent of our rehearsal time had the actors talking to air, where the plant, the 'lead character,' was supposed to be. The actors and puppeteer had to use their imaginations during rehearsals. They did wonderfully! When the actual prop arrived, everything went smoothly.”
Patch: How about costumes for the human cast?
Cavanaugh: The James Street Players has been around for almost 45 years. We have two large wardrobes at the church. Also, the actors put things together. The “Greek Chorus” (a singing trio in the play) went thrift-shopping for this production.”
Patch: Where do you get props?
Cavanaugh: We have a prop room with unique things from past productions. For new requirements, we're inventive. For instance, this play calls for (she chuckles) “body parts”! The character Seymour chops up a dentist to feed to the plant. So ... we used an old mannequin we had, cutting it into pieces and painting them red for the blood.
Patch: And you had a special assistant director?
Cavanaugh: That would be my five-year-old son, Colin. He's credited in the playbill, and he earned it! He blocked scenes, ran errands, and even invented a way to make blood spurt from the body parts.
Patch: What was that?
Cavanaugh: Water pistols, shooting out red food dye mixed with corn syrup!
Patch: That's one smart five-year-old!
Cavanaugh: “Little Shop” is a terrific night of theater--a light-hearted musical, actually, and not horrible or morose. Incredibly silly and the most fun you’ll have seeing people get eaten on stage. Everyone should come on down for some good grisly fun!”