The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

February 14, 2014

Sooner Theatre brings blood, love and laughs to the stage

NORMAN — Blood and flowers don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but for the Sooner Theatre’s upcoming production of “Little Shop of Horrors” it’s the perfect combination.

The tongue-in-cheek satire of old horror B-movies, performed by a cast of seventh to 12th grade students, follows assistant florist Seymour’s rise to fame after discovering an exotic blood-eating plant.

“It’s just a really good time,” Director Brandon Adams said. “There’s some shows that you go and there’s a powerful, poignant message. This is not one of them. If you’re just looking for a short, fun-filled, energy-packed evening this is a great way to do it.”

The musical, based off of the 1986 film of the same name, is set in a down-and-out skid row floral shop, Adams said. The shop becomes an overnight sensation after Seymour purchases the blood-eating plant with an insatiable appetite. As the plant, “Audrey II,” grows it transforms into an ill-tempered, R&B-singing carnivore who offers Seymour fame in exchange for bigger, better meals.

Incorporating live action with the plant puppetry offers a unique experience for theater-goers, Adams said.

“The first time the plant talks — even though everybody at this point knows the story, knows the movie, knows what to expect — there’s still something that when you’re in the theater and you hear this plant start talking it’s pretty cool, it’s pretty fun and an atypical theatrical experience,” he said.

Adams said the theater rented the man-eating plant puppet from the University of Oklahoma. The rental includes four separate puppets. The first, a hand-operated potted plant; the second is operated by Seymour as he carries the plant around; the third — when the plant first sings — has to be operated by a puppeteer from inside the plant; and the fourth is large enough to swallow its human meals whole.

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