Man-eating puppet entertains crowd

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A crazed, sex-obsessed, woman-beating dentist known as Orin stole the show Thursday night in McCain Auditorium during the opening night of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

“It’s going to be hard to top the dentist,” Nolan Fabricius, K-State alumnus, said during intermission. “He broke down the fourth wall; it was amazing.”

Originally a 1960 musical film, “Little Shop of Horrors” was remade in 1986 and has now been adapted for live theater.

Gil Perez-Abraham, sophomore in theatre, juggled the roles of Orin and others. Aside from serving as the dentist villain, Perez-Abraham continued to portray different characters.

Each character had a different voice and mannerisms, he said. “It’s a stretch as an actor,” he said. “Everyone else has one and I have at least eight.”

The audience responded positively to Perez-Abraham’s effort to bring comedy through each character.

“He’s one of my favorite characters, possibly of all time,” said Courtney Ress, junior in English. Ress saw “Little Shop of Horrors” for the first time as a child and has been impressed with the Orin character ever since, she said.

“He got really into the character,” said Ben Buckles, senior in finance.

To further exaggerate his character, Perez-Abraham took a very literal, hands-on approach with the audience, especially during a comically provocative song in which Orin flirted with Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette, three girls who frequent the street in front of Mr. Mushnik’s floral shop, where the musical takes place. In addition to flirting with the other cast members, there was not a single female seated in the front row of the audience who missed out on the actor’s intentionally obnoxious personal interaction.

Kyle Myers, junior in theatre, starred as Seymour Krelborn on McCain’s stage. He reflected on all of the hard work the cast put in to the show. “It has been a long process,” he said. “It has been a grueling process, but has been very very rewarding.”

Setting itself apart from the average musical, “Little Shop of Horrors” features rock music with a doo-wop feel and a plant that talks and eats people, Myers said.

“The 80s movie really traumatized me as a child,” said Fabricius. “It’s pretty dark.”

Other than a plant evolving into a man-eating monster, Perez-Abraham’s Orin character contributed heavily to the dark themes of the musical. Nothing about his character is endearing, yet the audience laughed again and again at the twisted humor that was this character.

Even though the musical stays the same, Perez-Abraham expects each audience to respond slightly differently, as he has seen happen with past performances.

“It’s serious at the right times and it’s funny at the right times,” he said. “I’m excited to see what the audience thinks is funny.”

Perez-Abraham also recognized the efforts of the cast and crew as a team. “I really enjoy seeing everyone out there working,” he said. “We have put a lot of hard work into this.”

“It’s a character-based show and we have some really great actors with great voices,” Meyers said.

Ress, Fabricius, and Buckles all agreed with Myers.

“I knew some people in the play; I knew they were theatre people, but I didn’t know they could all sing,” Fabricius said.

“It was highly entertaining,” Ress said.

The evolving puppet, elaborate costumes, strong vocals and overall great quality acting on the part of the entire cast and crew were all spot on according to these audience members.

“Little Shop of Horrors” will be performed in McCain Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and there will also be a matinee performance on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the McCain box office from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or in the K-State Student Union Little Theater box office from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. They cost $11-$16. The McCain box office is also open approximately 90 minutes before each performance, according to the auditorium’s website.

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