Thursday, May 30, 2024

Complex play comes to Plattsburgh State

The cast gathered around the piano and emulated poor and unlucky urbanites begging to get out of Skid Row. As their voices climaxed together, in the corner lay the lifeless body of a giant man-eating plant waiting to claim its next victim.

Plattsburgh State’s College Theatre Association (CTA) will be performing the musical production “Little Shop of Horrors” today and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in Hartman Theater in the Myers Fine Arts Building.

“Little Shop” revolves around the unfortunate Seymour Krelborn who works a dead-end job at a lousy flower shop in the city. His boss treats him like dirt and the girl he loves is abused by her psychotic boyfriend.

One day, Seymour finds a “strange and interesting” plant, Audrey II, which starts bringing in hundreds of customers to the flower shop. The plant gets bigger and bigger over time, but Audrey II’s secret is that it doesn’t care for water, rich soil and sunlight — it’d rather eat people.

Director and CTA President Tyyani Torres said “Little Shop” is definitely a much grander show than she and PSUC are used to.

“I go to weekly meetings just to talk about lighting, costuming, makeup, hair — any little thing you wouldn’t realize that’s in the show,” Torres said.

Torres said PSUC typically performs straight plays and student-created shows such as The Student Night of One Acts, but that doesn’t discourage her or the rest of the CTA.

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“It’s a lot more practice from the lower-scale things I’ve done before, but it’s fun, so I love it.”

“Little Shop” was a successful movie in the ’80s starring Rick Moranis and including the puppetry of Frank Oz. Torres said the CTA’s production will have the audience more involved than the film did.

“A movie is something you can watch over and over, but the stage is a one-time experience,” Torres said. “You can take it to that extra level into knowing your audience and finding what makes them laugh and what makes them cry.”

“Little Shop” is a production with many characters and multiple musical numbers, but the plant is the main player in this show. Puppeteer Melissa Iglody said the plant goes through four stages, and a different level of work is required for each of the puppets.

Iglody said the first stage of the plant works like a Muppet and isn’t too tedious to control.

“That’s a lot of fun because it’s just cute, and it’s simple.”

The second stage is just for show and doesn’t require any manipulating. The third and fourth stages are a different story though, seeing as how Iglody must use her entire body to control the plant.

“It can get very exhausting very fast,” Iglody said. “By the end of the number, I’m exhausted, but it’s a lot of fun and everybody in the cast says it looks great.”

The audience will see the plant grow from a little shrub living in a tin can to massive man eating monster that needs a person inside and a wire-rig holding it up just to move the mouth.

This production is some students’ first time in a play. The role of Krelborn is freshman Riccardo Burgos’ first time as lead role in a CTA production.

“I wasn’t expecting that I was going to get the lead role because there’s a lot of competition,” Burgos said. “I practiced like crazy before the audition, and when I got there I did as best as I could.”

Burgos said it’s great being the lead, but there are a few things he worries about when embodying Krelborn.

“It feels good, of course, because you got the part, but at the same time, there’s a lot of pressure,” Burgos said. Remembering lines and stage cues is a tough process, but Burgos said he is confident everything will go as planned.

Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for non-students. For more information visit

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