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Gruesome classic Little Shop of Horrors to open next week at Tigard High

TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Matthew Glancy plays Seymour Krelborn in Tigard Highs Little Shop of Horrors, which opens next week.Boy, we’re having some fun now.

Rehearsals are underway for Tigard High School’s spring musical, “Little Shop of Horrors,” which kicks off next week at the school.

Students at Tigard High have been working for weeks on “Little Shop,” strutting across the Deb Fennell auditorium in high heels, or dressed as giant man-eating plants.

“Little Shop” tells the story of a down-on-his-luck florist who finds a mysterious man-eating plant. The plant offers him fame and fortune and becomes the talk of the town, but as the plant grows, so does its appetite for human flesh.

Not surprisingly, the show isn’t recommended for children under 12, said the show’s director Joe Theissen.

“The subject matter is obviously a bit different than ‘Oklahoma’ or ‘My Fair Lady,’” said Theissen, who also teaches drama at nearby Lake Oswego Junior High. “Everybody’s having a great time. The music’s a bit more contemporary than a traditional musical.”

“Little Shop of Horrors” opens Thursday, May 5 and runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through May 14. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m., each night, with a 2 p.m. matinee on May 14.

Admission is $12, with a discount if tickets are purchased online.

For tickets, visit thsdrama.com.

Deb Fennell auditorium at Tigard High School is located at 9000 S.W. Durham Road.

Tigard’s Broadway Rose Theatre Company put on “Little Shop” in 2012, and Tigard was able to re-use many of the props from that production, including several large man-eating plant puppets.

“‘Little Shop’ isn’t actually designed to be done in a high school,” Theissen said. The show has a small cast, which was expanded for Tigard’s production.

Despite its dark storyline, the show is a comedy, said student Dasha Hershey, who plays Cassandra, one of The Ronnettes, a doo-wop group which serves as the show’s narrators.

“The message of the show is actually really nice,” she said. “It has this undertone of greed and how not to be greedy. All the people who wanted money or power end up dying, but it does it in such a funny way. The music is just killer.”

A send-up of 1950s sci-fi disaster movies, “Little Shop” is one of the longest running off-Broadway shows of all time, but the show had a long road to fame.

A non-musical horror/comedy film directed by Roger Corman was released in 1960, and turned into an off-off-Broadway stage musical in the 1980s. The success of that show sparked a film starring Rick Moranis in 1986.

“The music is so good,” said Mallory Cross, 15. “The hardest thing is the dancing.

It’s a different fare for Tigard, which two years ago, put on “Guys and Dolls” for its spring musical.

“’Guys’ is such a classic musical, but it’s fun to take on a more modern musical and taking on different kinds of music,” said Chameelah Waldon. “The puppets and everything are so cool.”

By Geoff Pursinger
Assistant Editor
The Times, serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood
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