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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 8, 1998)
Jp Staff writer
A blood-sucking plant descends front outer
space, wreaking hav oc on the dow ntrodden souls
of Skid Row.
It sounds like the plot to a typical B-grade hor
But then Howard Ashman and Alan Menken
came along and made the carnivorous monster sing
Yes. the team responsible for Disney's "The
Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast"
also created the dark musical comedy
"Little Shop of Horrors " Their creation -
has become one of the most popular musi
cal comedies in the United States and
resulted in a $30 million film starring Rick
Moranis and Steve Martin.
The Star City Dinner Theatre. 803 Q St..
Suite 100. opens its ow n production of the
ldiiiuu^ iiui lui uimcuv luiiiuiii.
The plav opens with Seymour Krelbourn. a
meek flower shop assistant, finding an unusual
plant one dav during a trip downtown. After nam
ing it Audrev II after his secret love. Seymour
attempts to care foi the plant. He fails miserablv
until he discovers the plant's special diet: human
As the plant grows, so does Seymour's fame.
A!! of the papers w ant to know about his green,
and n >w heav llv bandaged, thumb. But as Seymour
tries ’o keep up with his fame and the plant's grow
ing appetite, various characters m die pkiN begin, to
/ Needless to sav. "Tittle Shop of! lorrors" is not a tv p
^ ica 1 musical comedy Audiences will not see the candv
y coated adventures of a spunkv red-headed orphan or the
high school antics of a group of greasers and their Pink
Instead, this musical has enough blood and carnage
to keep the residents of Salem's Lot happv
"It's such an odd little world (the characters)
live in.” said Kristi Wilson,
Star City Dinner Theatre’s menu
to featureiLittle Shop of Horrors’
who pla\s Audrey.
"Thi s is so dark and
hideous that you |ust
hav e to laugh."
Because the materi
al leans toward the
darker side. Wilson
said, the actors avoided
approaching it as they
would a regular come
“You have to
approach it as if every -
one is real Then, the
humor and tenderness
•'come through." Wilson
Bob Rook, the'
play *s director, added
that a more realistic
approach helped the
actors avoid making the
In addition to the
play's humor, the tech
nical difficulties of the plant. Audrev li. pushed the cast and
Though Audrev II begins as a small, potted innocent-look
ing Venus" tlv -trap, by the end of the play, his giant mouth and
tendrils cover the entire stage The giant Audrev 1! requires
three puppeteers to operate Between the miniature and giant
Audrev I Is. there are three other version- of increasing si/e
11 a two of the cai nivorous plants, actor L)av id Claus is actu
allv inside of the puppet. Hooking Claus up to a microphone
from the inside and balancing his sound level with the other
actors proved to be a painstaking task for the production team.
for the giant puppet, the technical crew had to sv nchroni/e
the sound of Audrev I Is v oice with the movements of the pup
While the technical crew dealt with the sound elements, the
actors had to learn to react to the plant as if it were just another
"1 have all this anger and emotion and no one else on stage."
said Jonathan Hornyak. who plays Seymour. "I had difficulty
in the beginning singing and working without
it's iust me and the plant."
For Rook, the plant has become so reaf that he dislikes
being alone v\ ith it late at night.
''.Audiences will be in awe of this plant. It looks like it real
ly could eat people." Rook said
I fall goes well, the audience should be just as frightened as
"Little Shop of Horrors" runs tonight through Sundav. Oct.
15-1S. 22-25 and 30-5!. Dinner and show tickets for Fridav and
Saturday nights are S22. wmk Thursdav and Sundav perfor
mances are S20. Show-only seats are SI2 tor Fridav and
Saturday and SlO for Thursday and Sunday.
Dinner for the evening shows is served at o pan. with cur
tain at 3:30 p.m. Sunday dinners are
ser\ eu ai i
2:30 p.m. For
^ tickets, call
Ray Offi rt*
;ie Falk,DN (402) 472
Sunny Day Real Estate
“How It Feels To Be Something
Sub Pop Records
With "How It Feels To Be
Something On." Sunny Day Real
Estate rises from the rums of a split
that appeared to end one of the best
things to come out of the Northwest
since Kurt Cobam.
The album is the band's first since
a breakup in 1995 that saw lead
singerguitarist Jeremv Enigk pursue
a solo career, while bassist Nate
Mendel and drummer William
Goldsmith joined Dave Grohl's post
Nirvana project, the Foo Fighters.
Three of Sunny Day's four origi
nal members (including guitarist
Dave Hoerner) returned for the
band's third Sub Pop effort. Mendel
abstained and decided to continue his
career' as a Foo Fighter. Ex
Mommyhead Jeff Palmer replaced
him on the bass during the album's
recording and executes his new role
m conv incing fashion.
Sunny Day shows it still knows
how to craft majestic emo-rock
melodies on "How It Feels," by com
posing the moody songs that made
them notorious among indie rock cir
cles. As on prev ious records, each
track slowly evolves into thunderous
roars of aggressive high-strung rock
and hypnotic vocal effects.
This sound is neither punk nor
pop. but rests somewhere in between,
exuding the members' past experi
ences as members of hardcore and
In fact, each song follows this
unrivaled formula by casually pro
gressing in directions you would
never imagine from the succession of
gently strummed intros.
"Pillars,” the first track, sets the
tone for the rest of the album with
Emgk's powerful vocals, which are
reminiscent of Perry Farrell's striking
range. And while Emgk's voice may
be one of the highlights of Sunny
Day's music, it does not diminish the
talents of the other members.
"How It Feel?" climaxes in the
middle with “100 Million," the title
track and “The Prophet.” These three
songs give the album an identity far
above past efforts through their lush
instrumentation and the enchanting
vocals of Enigk.
It is difficult to skip any of Sunnv
Day’s latest offerings because they 're
all so good, a sign that the band still has
all it used to, and possibly a little more.
What “How It Feels” lacks is the
powerful punk anthems that painted
“Dairy,” Sunny Day’s first full-length
from 1994. Four years later, the band
seems content with creating music
that reflects a movement away from
where it started, a direction that is
Matt Miller DN
SEYMOUR (Jonathan Hornyak), a lonely clerk, comforts his girlfriend, Audrey (Kristi Wilson),
during a dress rehearsal of the play “Little Shop of Horrors" at The Star City Dinner Theatre on
Tuesday night. The play opens tonight.
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