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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

RHIT Little Shop Ryan Roetker 14796

Blooming Relationship: Audrey II, an extraterrestrial plant, has an insatiable appetite for human blood and affection for botanist Seymour Krelborn, played by freshman Ryan Roetker, in the Drama Club's fall production of Little Shop of Horrors.

Just in time for Halloween, the Drama Club will stage "Little Shop of Horrors," a retro science-fiction musical about an out-of-control carnivorous plant, the next two weekends on the Hatfield Hall Theater stage.

Performances are scheduled on the following dates:

  • Friday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 30, at 1:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Set in a 1960s skid row flower shop, the dark comedy follows the tale of dejected Seymour Krelborn, played by freshman Ryan Roetker, who unknowingly acquires and nurses an unusual, but sickly plant. The hapless floral assistant and amateur botanist names the plant "Audrey II" in honor of his coworker crush, Audrey, played by senior Alia Robinson.

"Little Shop of Horrors is a really funny show with a great cast playing all sorts of quirky characters, says Roetker, who has been participating in a variety of theater productions for the past five years.

Seymour convinces shop owner Mushnik, played by senior Thomas Janssen, that Audrey II is the key to saving the faltering floral shop, and puts the strange plant on display to attract customers. The plan works and business quickly grows, along with Audrey II, flourishing from a tiny sprout into an assertive giant plant. Eventually, however, Seymour discovers that the extraterrestrial plant, with an insatiable appetite for human blood, is actually on a quest for world domination”a revelation that may have come too late.

"One of the most impressive elements of this production is the puppetry," says senior Christian Schulz, who plays the voice of Audrey II. He is a stage veteran, having performed in musical theater for eight years.

"We have four different prop versions to showcase the plant during different stages of its development. All four are controlled by cleverly hidden puppeteers, and they're doing a really great job making the plant lifelike and coordinating with my mouth movements," adds Schulz. "This show showcases the advantage of a theater performance at an engineering-oriented college. The skills of our tech crew are apparent throughout the show, and the musical talents of our orchestra pull everything together. This is truly a show where the entire ensemble shines."

The show's 1960s-style pop/rock music, featuring poignant ballads and rousing choral numbers, was written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, whose writing and composing credits also include Disney's "The Little Mermaid,""Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin." The duo's witty comedy is speckled throughout "Little Shop of Horrors," which is one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows.

"Our production of 'Little Shop of Horrors' is a dynamic, energetic, and non-stop botanical delight," says Drama Club Director Terence Hartnett.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for youths, and are available online at hatfieldhall.com, by phone at 812-877-8544, or at the Hatfield Hall ticket desk Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 90 minutes before each show. Tickets and complete show information also are available at hatfieldhall.com.