BY CHELSEA HERNANDEZ
On Oct. 21, College of the Desert’s Department of Fine Arts kicked off the fall season with the wacky musical known as “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Pollock Theatre. The original film, released in 1986, is set in Skid Row, where the main character, Seymour Krelborn, works at a small flower shop. The flower shop, located in a not-so-suburban neighborhood is struggling to keep its doors open. Then when one strange plant appears due to a solar eclipse, Seymour’s life is changed forever when he’s forced to acquire to the plant’s flesh-eating needs.
Seymour works with his love interest, Aubrey. He names the plant “Aubrey II” in honor of his secret crush. Aubrey’s low self-esteem leads her into dating a psychopathic dentist who enjoys inflicting pain onto others. She continues to put up with verbal and physical abuse in hopes of escaping Skid Row with dreams of a cookie-cutter home with a white picket fence. The plant continues to get stronger as it feeds off various body parts, while giving Seymour local attention and funds.
The musical comedy featured 20 musical numbers, including a chorus that featured Crystal, Chiffon, and Ronette, the three gals who provided vocal insight through all of the acts. They also showed off their dance moves. The show was directed and choreographed by Se Layne with musical direction by Scott Smith. Technical director, J.W. Layne, designed the “Aubrey II” puppet that was worked by Billy Franco and voiced by Alden Dickey.
The clumsy main character, Seymour, was portrayed by Eric Scott Romney. The sweet blonde named Audrey, was portrayed by Meagan Van Dyke and store owner, Mushnik, was portrayed by Tom Warrick. Lou Galvan, who played Orin, the dentist, also impressively played three additional roles on the side of his main character.
COD students who attended the play on opening night had positive feedback to give. “[The musical] was really good. The acting was really nice, it was funny and enjoyable. I’ve seen a few plays before but this is my first time seeing a performance [on campus],” said Kristopher Moore
Karina Contreras enjoyed the play, “The performance was unforgettable. The details made the show stand out and all of the actors/actresses were well rehearsed. There was never a dull moment. The lighting, sound effects made all of the difference, everything from the props to the costumes were interesting. I would definitely recommend watching a live performing art production at COD.”
The two-hour show included homeless background actors that interacted with the crowd. Some of the homeless held out cans, begging the audience to spare loose change, which added a touch of detail to the setting of skid row. Overall, the performance had the audience both laughing and in awe. The live performance reflected the humorous and supernatural plot line of a classic musical originally by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. The singing, dancing, and acting by these talented people both on stage and behind the scenes started the fall semester with a bang.