“Little Shop of Horrors” Plays at the Clarence Brown for Halloween

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KNOXVILLE – Just in time for Halloween, the hit musical “Little Shop of Horrors” will play in the Clarence Brown Theatre’s Carousel Theatre Oct. 29 through Nov. 15. It is sponsored by Mardini Media and Stowers Machinery Corporation.

There will be a preview for “Little Shop of Horrors” on Thursday, Oct. 29, followed by opening night on Friday, Oct. 30. For tickets, call the Clarence Brown Theatre box office at 865-974-5161, Tickets Unlimited at 865-656-4444 or visit http://www.clarencebrowntheatre.com.

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • For the preview: adults – $20, UT employees – “Buy one get one” for $17, seniors – $17, students – $12, and UT students – free with UT ID.
  • For opening night: adults – $33, seniors – $17, students – $20, and UT students – $10 with UT ID. There are no discounts for opening night.
  • On Wednesday/Thursday: adults – $22, UT employees – “Buy one get one” for $19, seniors – $19, students -$12, UT students – $5 with UT ID.
  • On weekends: adults – $27, UT employees – “Buy one get one” for $22, seniors – $22, students – $15, UT students – $5 with UT ID

Based on the low budget 1960 “B” movie directed by Roger Corman, this extremely goofy musical is part sci-fi, part black comedy, part Faustian legend and a whole lot of fun. Set in the early 1960′s Skid Row, the down and out characters dream of “getting out” one day. When floral shop attendant, Seymour, finds an unusual plant, the floral shop begins to flourish. Then Seymour discovers the plant needs blood to grow. The plant promises Seymour fame and fortune if he will feed him what he needs. Seymour agrees and a tragic Faustian series of events ensure. Throw in a little romance, a sadistic Elvis-like dentist, a singing and dancing plant and a “Supremes-like” girl group and you have the recipe for a funny terror-filled evening. The music in the production is a catchy combination of Motown, gospel, rhythm and blues, and 60’s rock and roll influenced tunes. This production contains fog, strobe lights and material that may not be suitable for young children.

“The story, and I think the music most of all, has made its way into the hearts of many people. It’s certainly not a coincidence that the creators of this show—Alan Mencken and Howard Ashman—went on to create amazing music and lyrics for some of Disney’s newer classics such as ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Little Mermaid.’ The show is a little gem, albeit a dark and creepy one, that seems to delight and appeal to our darker sides,” said director and choreographer Terry Silver-Alford.

Silver-Alford is a member of the UT Theatre faculty and teaches musical theater performance, introduction to the theater and acting. Prior to joining the UT faculty, he held the positions of director of musical theater at the University of Tulsa and at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. He has worked professionally in the theater as a director, musical director, performer and composer at theaters across the country, including the California Theatre Center, Madison Repertory, Omaha Playhouse, Augusta Barn, Fireside Theatre, Light Opera of Oklahoma and the Clarence Brown Theatre (CBT). Terry has directed or musically directed more than 100 productions and has created the scores for four original musicals and a variety of chamber and vocal music pieces. He earned his MFA in directing from UT in 1984 and a Master of Music degree from Western Michigan University in piano and composition in 1991. His most recent CBT directing credits include “Guys and Dolls,” “Assassins,” and “Parade.”

David Kortemeier (Mushnik) is an artist-in-residence and a member of the acting faculty. He has been seen in “A Flea in Her Ear,” “The Life of Galileo” and “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” His work has also been seen at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland, Drury Lane Theatre and Noble Fool Theatricals in Chicago, and 12 seasons with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington. He holds an MFA in acting from the University of Louisville and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors’ Guild.

Lauren Elysse Fitzgerald (Crystal) is senior majoring in theater and Africana studies. Past productions include the staged reading of “Parade” and “Flyin West.” She is the fundraising director for BlackSunshine Arts and Entertainment (Knoxville Poetry Slam) and she is a member of the Carpetbag Theatre Ensemble.

James McGuire (Orin) is a senior in theater and music, and this year’s proud recipient of the James Brimer Scholarship for Musical Theatre. Past productions include “Tommy,” “Guys and Dolls,” “A Christmas Carol” and in the staged reading of “Parade.” Additionally he has performed in the Lab Theatre and with Shakespeare on the Square. He also starred in the local/on-campus movie “Whispering Circle.” He is a member and soloist with the UT Concert Choir and UT Men’s Glee Club.

Mitch Miller (Seymour) is a senior majoring in theater. His previous work includes “Tommy,” “Antigone,” “Assassins” and the staged reading of “Parade.” He is currently in production for the third season of the video series “Adventure Now” for LifeWay which recently was screened at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. In addition to his acting credits, he also directed William Inge’s “Bus Stop” in the Lab Theatre last fall.

Katlyn Whittenburg (Chiffon) is a senior majoring in theater and Spanish.

Patrick Ryan Kimberlin (Puppeteer) is a junior majoring in theater with a minor in cinema studies.

Zachary Parker (Puppeteer) is a junior majoring in theater. Previously, he worked with the CBT and the All Campus Theatre (ACT) as a member of the crew for several productions.

Jenna Purdy (Ronette) is a junior majoring in theater. She is a graduate of the Webb School of Knoxville where she performed in four productions. Additionally, she has performed with the WordPlayers, Tin Soldier Productions and Theatre Knoxville Downtown.

Brandon Gibson (Voice of Audrey II) has been seen on the CBT stage in “A Christmas Carol” and “The Life of Galileo.” He has performed at Maryville College, with the TN Stage Company and with Stephen Foster Productions in Bardstown, KY. He has sung with the Knoxville Opera Chorus, UT Opera Theatre, UT Concert Choir, UT Chamber Singers and as a scholarship singer with Church St. United Methodist and St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral.

Lindsey Jenné Hansom (Audrey) is currently a sophomore theater major. Last year, she performed in several ACT productions.

James Brimer has served as musical director since 1972. A graduate of the UT School of Music, he also has taught Theatre 425 and music theater techniques. He helped start the UT Opera program under the direction of Edward Zambara of the Juilliard School and Boston University. He also was one of 13 pianists selected by worldwide auditions to attend The Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood.

Members of the band include Melony Maness (keyboards), Jay Miller (percussion), David Slack (bass) and Chad Volkers (guitar).

The artistic team includes: Kerry Lee Chipman, scenic design; Kyra Beanland, costume design; Keith Kirkland, lighting design; Mike Ponder, sound design; and Derek Waffel, stage manager.

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Pictured: Mitch Miller and Lindsey Jenne’ Hansom in the CBT’s “Little Shop of Horrors”

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