A talking plant and some great doo-wop music will fill Coast Capital Playhouse with a bit of summertime fun this month.
A production of Little Shop of Horrors opens Friday, Aug. 10 at the White Rock theatre. The show is a co-pro staged by Fighting Chance Productions and White Rock Players' Club.
"I've done this show before and it's just a good summer, sort of silly show," said director Ryan Mooney, artistic director with Fighting Chance.
"I've always enjoyed the show. Maybe that's because I saw the movie as a kid."
(The stage production is based on a 1960 black comedy film directed by Roger Corman. In 1986, another movie based on the story was directed by Frank Oz.)
In White Rock, the eight-person cast includes Nick Fontaine as the voice of the show's mystery plant, a Venus Flytrap-like thing that feeds on human flesh and blood.
Seymour, the poor florist who cares for the hungry plant, is played by South Surreyite Kerry O'Donovan, an in-demand pianist and music director who returns to the stage after a seven-year absence.
He and Mooney have known each other for about a decade, and once worked together on a version of The Who's Tommy in North Vancouver.
"We had a lot of auditions for that role (of Seymour) and we couldn't quite find the perfect actor," Mooney told the Now, "so I called Kerry and asked him, 'Is this something?' He said yeah, 'It's like a dream role for me.' He came in and we chatted, and I thought it'd be perfect for him."
Another local actor in this Little Shop is Nicole Stevens, as Crystal, one of the doo-wop girls. Stevens also had a role in a version of Nunsense staged by Fighting Chance last summer in White Rock.
In Little Shop, the cast also includes Melissa Clark (as Audrey, Seymour's dream girl), David Nicks (Mushnik, the flower shop boss), Greg Delmage (evil dentist Orin Scrivello), Veronika Sztopa (Ronnette) and Ria Manansala (Chiffon).
"It's nice to work with a smaller group like that," Mooney said. "I mean, we're doing Rent right now (at Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island) and that's a group of 15 people on stage, and another show I did recently had a cast of 24.
"It's great music (in Little Shop of Horrors)," Mooney continued, "and it's not too long - just under two hours, so it's good for a summer run like this. It's also an easy show, other than the plant. It's basically just the one set, so that's all it takes to do the show."
In June, Mooney directed White Rock Players' production of Lend Me a Tenor, and will be back directing another show, Neil Simon's Fools, at the Playhouse next April.
"It was a great experience," said Mooney, a Vancouver resident, of his time in June.
"It's a great theatre and a really good group of people. It's a good theatre scene there, just a different clientele, obviously. You have to make choices of which shows to do there based on the people coming to the theatre."
At the Playhouse, Little Shop of Horrors is on stage until Aug. 25, from Wednesday to Saturday at 8 p.m. There are also 3 p.m. matinee shows on Sundays. The theatre is located at 1532 Johnston Rd. For show tickets and information, call 604-536-7535 or visit www.whiterockplayers.ca.
After its run in White Rock this month, the Fighting Chance production of Little Shop of Horrors hits the stage at Jericho Arts Centre in Vancouver from Oct. 11-27. The company, formed in 2007, is online at fightingchanceproductions.ca.
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