ARTS has a wide variety of experience, so does it’s team members. Robert Vance, ARTS Owner, has a wide range of experience in theatrical settings, including audio, lighting, and scenic design for high school theatrical productions. A local high school presented a fall musical, Little Shop of Horrors, and Robert provided audio, lighting, and scenic design for the production.
Little Shop of Horrors is a comedy horror rock musical, by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. The musical is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Roger Corman. The music, composed by Menken in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown)”, “Somewhere That’s Green”, and “Suddenly, Seymour”.
In addition to the original long-running 1982 off-Broadway production and subsequent Broadway production, the musical has been performed all over the world. Because of its small cast and relatively simple orchestrations, it has become popular with community theatre, school and other amateur groups.
The scenic elements of the show included several locations, but mainly took place in the florist shop seen in this photo. Other locations included Skidrow (outside the shop) and a dentist office. At the end of the show, when the plant has taken over the world, vines with leaves and flowers were rigged to fall from above the stage and audience during the song “Don’t Feed the Plants”.
The main character of the show, a plant that’s cross between a Venus flytrap and an avocado, Audrey II, seen in this photo, is actually four puppets of different size throughout the show. The puppets used in this production came from the Monkey boys, out of Pennsylvania. The largest of the puppets was about the size of a small car.
In this production, the small orchestra was staged behind the set. A brick wall was flown behind the shop and could be seen through the shop window. During curtain call of the show, the wall flew out and the orchestra was included in curtain call. The orchestra being located behind the set complicated some things as far as conducting and audio. So the entire orchestra was miced and mixed separately for the audience and the performers on stage. The orchestra was able to hear the performers through a series of monitors. All of the performers were miced wirelessly. Additionally, the conductor was visible to the performers via camera and an on-stage monitor, and the performers were visible to the conductor likewise.
In addition to scenic and audio design, Robert provided lighting design expertise for the show. The design included rock-and-roll style lighting with vivid color washes from side and back PAR lighting and included a handful of intelligent lighting fixtures.