published Friday, June 24th, 2011

‘Little Shop of Horrors’: Man, woman and ... plant


What: “Little Shop of Horrors.”

When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and July 1; 1 and 7:30 p.m. July 2.

Where: Catoosa County Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, Ga.

Admission: $15 adults, $12 students/seniors, $11 groups.

Phone: 706-861-6802.

Ah, the eternal love triangle: a man, a woman and, um, a ravenous, giant plant.

“Little Shop of Horrors,” the rock musical that features the unusual love triangle, opens at the Catoosa County Colonnade tonight and offers four additional performances through next weekend.

The Closed Door Entertainment production is based on the low-budget 1960 black-comedy film “The Little Shop of Horrors” but has music by Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, the team who collaborated on Disney movies such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin.”

The Menken/Ashman version became a 1982 off-Broadway, subsequent Broadway production and 1986 movie.

The plot finds down-and-out Seymour working at a flower shop and attending a plant he has named Audrey II (after the love of his life, Audrey). However, his plant is no normal plant. Audrey II came from outer space and requires a diet of fresh blood. Seymour starts by giving the plant his own blood, but, when people start dying, the plant wants more than a few drops of blood.

“The songs are extremely catchy,” said Closed Door Entertainment volunteer Greg Jackson. “The more times you hear them, the more you fall in love with them.”

A full band, including two keyboardists, drummer, bass guitarist and electric guitarist, will back the songs.

“They sound so good together,” said Jackson.

While the show has a cast of nine, including his 15-year-old son, Eric, who plays seven roles, he said perhaps its biggest star is Audrey II, the blood-lusting plant whose head grows from fist-size to more than 6 feet tall.

The plant, which has been described in other productions as a cross between a Venus flytrap and an avocado, winds up large enough to have puppeteers standing inside it, Jackson said.

The construction of Audrey II, he said, was the “brainchild” of Shayne Champion, while Chuck Nalley gives it a voice.

“There is so much personality to the plant, it’s impressive,” said Jackson. “It’s been a fun experience building these things.”

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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