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  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Ethan Lichtle, left, playing Seymour, and Megan Buss, right, playing Audrey, sing to each other with Cameron Tolliver, center, playing Audrey II, moving along during rehearsals for IPFW's production of Little Shop of Horrors, opening April 20th. WIth Video

  • Maryann Beck, right, and Shelby Renier, center, help Tolliver get into his plant costume.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Maryann Beck, right, and Shelby Renier, left, on the Plant Crew for IPFW's production of Little Shop of Horrors, help Cameron Tolliver, playing Audrey II, get into his plant costume during rehearsals. WIth Video

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Ethan Lichtle, left, playing Seymour, and Megan Buss, right, playing Audrey, worry about Audrey II, center, played by Cameron Tolliver, along during rehearsals for IPFW's production of Little Shop of Horrors, opening April 20th. WIth Video

  • Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Ethan Lichtle, left, playing Seymour, and Megan Buss, playing Audrey, sing to each other with Cameron Tolliver, center, playing Audrey II, moving along during rehearsals for IPFW’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Friday, April 21, 2017 1:00 am

'Little Shop of Horrors' sprouts at IPFW

If you go

What: “Little Shop of Horrors”

When: 8 p.m. today, Saturday, Wednesday and April 27, 28 and 29; 2 p.m. Sunday (with sign language interpretation)

Where: Williams Theatre, IPFW, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.

Admission: $18 adults, $16 seniors, $14 non-IPFW students and groups of 10 or more; $5 IPFW and high school students and children 6 to 17; children younger than 6 will not be admitted; 481-6555 or ipfw.edu/tickets

A love story. A morality tale about fame. A killer plant that sings. Some stage productions just have it all.

IPFW's Department of Theatre continues “Little Shop of Horrors” this weekend. The musical comedy, which opened Thursday, follows a young man, Seymour, who works in a flower shop. He pines for Audrey, who is of course in love with someone else. One day he comes across a small plant, which he names Audrey II.

Eventually, Seymour figures out that Audrey II needs to feed on humans to survive and he is tempted to provide that food in exchange for fame.

What follows is a sometimes cartoonish series of events that ends with ... well, we won't spoil it. But you might never look at that fern in the corner of your living room the same way again.

As the plant grows, it is portrayed by various puppets, including versions that require a performer to be entirely encased for a large segment of the show. Audrey II is voiced by a second performer in the pit.

“I've done a little bit with puppets in my past, but nothing like this,” says department chair Beverly Redman, who co-directs the show. “This is new territory for me and it's certainly new for the students.”

She says “Horrors” is a good production for a college theater program because the students are forced to rely on what they have learned in classes to make the characters real, even amidst the campy nature of the show.

Behind the humor, the story is about a good-hearted guy that makes mistakes in his pursuit of the woman he loves.

“There's a kind of innocence and sweetness to the very end with both of those characters that is really nice,” Redman says before continuing with a laugh. “But, yes, it is absolutely camp.”

cmcmaken@jg.net