Palomar Performing Arts is ready for their next production, bringing to life Little Shop of Horrors.
Running from March 11-20, Little Shop of Horrors is a story about Seymour Krelborn, who works at a floral shops, and his discovery of a Venus flytrap with a taste for human blood.
The play is being directed by Kathy Brombacker with Music Director Ellen Weller, Co-Director and Choreographer Valerie Clark, and Set Designer Anthony Cucuzzella.
“It’s a wonderful comedy.” said Director Kathy Brombacher in an interview via zoom. Little Shop of Horrors in the past has been both a hit movie as well as an off-Broadway play, but Brombacher has drawn inspiration mainly from the stage musical. “Well the movie ends differently, it doesn’t have all the songs we have in the musical. I think my references were more toward the stage musical, although the characters are wonderful in the movie.”
In wanting to help the cast understand the time period the play takes place, Brombacher brought in a dramaturge to help the cast learn the history of the writing of the piece and other things such as inspiration and society at the time in 1962.
With Covid still an issue, the cast and crew had to take precautions such as wear masks the whole time and take Covid test regularly. “We feel very lucky to be able to come back to the stage and offer this to the community, to the students, to the faculty and our team I think is just putting their best foot forward in every way” said Brombacher.
Brombacher and Set Designer Anthony Cucuzzella began meeting over the summer to go over the script and starting to decide how they wanted the production to look. Cucuzzella builds 3D models to present to the team to get their approval and start the construction of the set.
Cucuzzella has worked on Little Shop of Horrors productions in the past in his career, but one challenge he faced was finding a prop plant to play Audrey II. “We couldn’t find one locally” said Cucuzzella in a zoom interview. With no local way to rent one and the price to rent out a puppet nationally expensive, the team came to the decision to build their own instead.
Aubrey II will be different sizes as the play goes on, growing as a plant would. Cucuzzella built the final puppet in a way to have it only controlled by one puppeteer. “Ultimately, one puppeteer is manning it, making it move and talk and sing and then eating different actors.”
When asked what the audience can expect to experience at the show, Brombacher hopes they will enjoy the characters, the different styles of music, have fun, and be surprised by the story. “It goes wild in terms of the imagination of the creators and taking the audience on that journey.”