To celebrate its 10th year as a club at Brock University, Brock Musical Theatre has taken the opportunity to do a major musical production. This February, the club will be performing the 1982 musical, Little Shop of Horrors.
Since the club’s origin, Brock Musical Theatre (BMT) has been devoted to bringing quality pieces of musical theatre to Brock University students and community members of the Niagara Region. BMT prides itself on running as closely to a professional theatre company as possible, allowing students from all departments and years of study to express themselves through an outlet they may not otherwise have the opportunity to while maintaining a high quality of theatre.
The show is directed by senior members of BMT, Cordell Piper and Janelle Hazelton.
“It was a difficult transition from being on stage to behind the scenes, but it is a very rewarding experience and I am enjoying learning about all that goes into the show,” said Vandenbrink. “I’m very lucky to have an executive team that works together and has my back and is able to help me when I need it.”
The other executive members include Adam Caranfa (Production Manager) and Alex Jackson (Vice President), with Danielle Viola (Vocal Director) and Jon Link (Musical Director).
Little Shop of Horrors is about a rundown floral shop on skid row in the roughest part of town. Seymour Krelborn, the meek shop assistant, comes across a new and mysterious breed of plant that grows and brings him untold fame and fortune. Things take a turn for Krelborn however when he learns that the plant is not from this world. He has to decide whether to stop the plant from destruction or keep his newfound fame and glory.
The musical is certainly one of the more ambitious pieces the club has tackled but felt it was necessary to really own their ten year anniversary and do something innovative and surprising.
“We looked at multiple shows but all of us had a strong connection and love for the show and we felt we would do well with a show that we all had a passion for,” said Vandenbrink. “We loved the idea of the plant and taking on a new challenge for the club. Last year we worked with puppets in Avenue Q, and we thought it would be interesting to take on this new challenge.”
The play has come with a number of challenges that BMT has been more than eager to overcome. One of these challenges is how popular the musical is and the careful process behind making adaptations that work for BMT while still remaining true to the spirit of such a well-known production.
“With any popular show, there are those stars that make the show so popular,” said Vandenbrink. “We have tried to keep the core elements of the show while allowing the actors to really find themselves in their characters. One change that is very different from the original show is that our plant is voiced by a woman, while the original is voiced by a male. After our auditions, we heard a voice that we felt would give the character of the plant a unique twist and we absolutely loved it.”
BMT will be hosting weekly open mic/karaoke nights at the Griffon Pub at 165 Hartzel Rd. in St. Catharines every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. and 15 per cent of all food sales will go towards helping the club with finances for the upcoming show. The club will also be confirming a date in the coming weeks for their variety show that will follow their performances dates.
Brock Musical Theatre will be performing Little Shop of Horrors in the David S. Howes Theatre at Brock University on Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. and Feb. 28 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 and will be on sale through the Centre for the Arts at arts.brocku.ca or at the box office located in Thistle Hall. Also find Brock Musical Theatre on Facebook.