Wayland presents "Horrors" on Halloween

PLAINVIEW – If you’re looking for some excitement on Halloween weekend, spend a frightful evening with a man-eating plant as Wayland Baptist University presents Little Shop of Horrors. The show will run Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 27-29, at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday and a special 10 p.m. showing on Halloween night. All shows will be in the Black Box theatre in the Harral Arts Complex on the Wayland campus.

Wayland’s Dean of the School of Fine Arts and Director of Theatre Dr. Marti Runnels said Little Shop of Horrors is among his top 5 favorite shows to watch or direct.

“I love everything about this show,” he said. “It’s like a dream for actors. It’s a dream for audience members because I just keep getting more and more outrageous; funnier and funnier.”

Written and composed by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the musical is about a florist shop worker who raises a flesh-eating plant, set to the musical styling of 1960s rock and roll. Little Shop of Horrors has a storied history as it began as a black comedy movie by Roger Corman in 1960. It was later turned into a musical and had an extended run off Broadway. In 1986 it returned to the big screen as a movie starring the likes of Rick Moranis, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, and John Candy. Following the feature film it returned to the stage, this time on Broadway for another extended run.

Wayland’s production will see the return of Mike Morgan to the Wayland stage. Morgan, who plays shop owner Mr. Mushnik, last worked with Dr. Runnels on The Music Man in 1994. Morgan has worked steadily throughout the years, performing on a regular basis in productions in Lubbock and throughout the region.

Caleb Burnett will fill the role of Seymour Krelborn with Erin Pearce playing Audrey. The parts of Ronnette, Chiffon and Crystal will be played by Emma Jennings, Madison Younger and Faith Rushing, as well as Leti Cruz, Elizabeth Johnson and Morghan Dryden. Runnels cast two actors in each of those roles since those three characters are on constantly on stage throughout the show. Other actors playing various roles include Josh Walters, Edward Funderburke and Reed McDonald.

The production will also consist of individuals who will work the four plant costumes that reflect the man-eater as it continues to grow.

“A big part of this show is just coordinating all of the plant stuff,” Runnels said. “The plant has to lip sync to the music. Somebody has to be inside of the plant making it work, and the plant eats people so you have to figure out how that’s going to happen.”

The purchase tickets go to wbu.edu/fine-arts-degree/ and click on the “current theatre season” link. The “buy tickets now” button will take you to the appropriate page.